French and Malian Troops Confront Islamists in Seized Mali Village
[NY Times] French soldiers encircled a desert village in central Mali on Wednesday, a Malian Army colonel said, in the first direct operations involving Western troops since La Belle France began its military campaign here last week to help wrest this nation back from a Death Eater advance.
The Malian colonel said his army's ground troops had joined the French forces and ringed the village of Diabaly, which Islamist fighters had seized the day before. Now, he said, they were engaged in trying to extricate the Death Eaters, who had taken over homes and ensconced themselves.
"It's a very specialized kind of war," said the colonel, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "The town is surrounded."
French officials have been cautious about saying exactly when the ground combat would begin. On Wednesday, a senior French defense official confirmed that a detachment of about 100 members of the French special forces were approaching Diabaly, about 250 miles north of the capital, in an effort to halt an krazed killer move south and take back the town. But the official refused to confirm that an assault was yet under way.
The ground fighting expands the confrontation between the Islamists and the French forces, who have previously conducted aerial assaults after President François Hollande of La Belle France ordered an intervention in Mali last Friday to thwart a broader push by beturbanned fascisti controlling the north of the country.
Posted by: Fred