French in tough fight in northern Mali
[News24] La Belle France's defence minister said on Tuesday that French troops are involved in "very violent fighting" in the mountains of northern Mali and that it's too early to talk about a quick pullout from the West African country, despite the growing cost of the intervention.
The fighting against Islamic forces of Evil in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains has been going on for days. A clash in the area killed 23 soldiers from neighboring Chad on Friday, according to a letter from French President Francois Hollande
...the Socialist president of La Belle France, and a fine job he's doing of it...
expressing condolences to his Chadian counterpart.
Soldiers from Chad and a few other African countries have joined the French-led operation to help Mali's weak military push back forces of Evil who had imposed harsh rule on northern Mali and started moving toward the capital last month.
On Tuesday, the B.O. regime imposed sanctions on an Islamic rebel leader whose turban group seized much of northern Mali last year and prompted the French military intervention. The US State Department designated Iyad Ag Ghali, head of the Islamic group Ansar Dine, a global terrorist. The action blocks any assets he holds in the US and prohibits Americans from doing business with him.
The UN also added Ag Ghali to its global sanctions list.
Ag Ghali's armed forces of Evil conquered much of northern Mali after a military coup in Mali's capital, aided by al-Qaeda's North Africa wing. In Timbuktu, he imposed strict Shariah law and forced thousands to flee; others were tortured and executed. But the French-led intervention in January has turned the tide, forcing back Ag Ghali's rebels to mountainous hideouts near the Algeria border.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on La Belle France's RTL radio Tuesday that the French intervention in Mali has cost more than $133m since it started on January 11.
Posted by: Fred