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Africa North
Mali conflict: French set for key ground combat
Nothing says military strategy like telling your enemy what you are going to do.
French troops are set for their first major ground combat with Islamist rebels in Mali after heading out from the capital, Bamako.

A convoy of about 30 armoured vehicles set out on Tuesday for Diabaly, 350km (220 miles) to the north, a town captured by the rebels on Monday.

The first units of an African force are set to arrive on Wednesday to bolster the French.

France intervened last Friday to halt the Islamists' drive to the capita
Posted by:tipper

#13  I suspect the Frenchies will be requesting ARCLIGHT assistance vee the US very soon, as Muslim Clerics are repor calling on loyal Muslims to travel to Mali to fight France + its African coalition.
Posted by: JosephMendiola   2013-01-16 23:58  

#12  A convoy of about 30 armoured vehicles

I hope they have ROEs that don't handicap them and good air support readily available. There was another convoy Groupement Mobile 100 that got chewed up badly in the French Indo China War. Death on the highway Just saying.
Posted by: JohnQC   2013-01-16 17:33  

#11  loss of Dennis Allex ... very sad day. About 3-1/2 years in captivity, who knows what kind of mistreatment he underwent, rescue mission failed and he was aware that it cost lives. that's a hard way to go. Condolences to his family and friends.
Posted by: Raider   2013-01-16 17:25  

#10  Well, the French Army prisoner and detainee question (if there ever was one) has now been resolved.
Posted by: Besoeker   2013-01-16 15:09  

#9  Just read that Shabaab executed French hostage Denis Allext.
Posted by: JohnQC   2013-01-16 15:05  

#8  Too bad, Rambler. :-(
Posted by: Barbara   2013-01-16 14:40  

#7  The French don't have the capability of doing an arclight, Barbara. The US doesn't have the will anymore.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia   2013-01-16 14:40  

#6  "How do you say Dien Bien Phu in Bambara"

How do you say Arclight in French?
Posted by: Barbara   2013-01-16 14:29  

#5  How do you say Dien Bien Phu in Bambara (the lingua franca of Mali)?
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia   2013-01-16 13:38  

#4  The rebels control just about everything north of Dialbaly, Konna, and Douentza (Nearly 3/4th of Mali); an area about the size of Texas. It's going to take much more than what the French have there. The conflict will most likely broaden. As Raider said this is not a 3-month conflict.
Posted by: JohnQC   2013-01-16 13:23  

#3  France has nukes...
Posted by: Glenmore   2013-01-16 12:21  

#2  this is not a 3-month conflict. it will go on for years. the Islamists are well equipped (with Libyan weapons and US training), have dug caves and hideouts, and stored supplies in many secret locations. France is seriously undermanned if they are committing only 1,000 men and some aircraft. They can capture a few key towns, but by no means can secure a large terrority.
Posted by: Raider   2013-01-16 12:19  

#1  French special forces were fighting "hand-to-hand" with Islamists alongside Malian forces in Diabaly. The French may face a difficult situation in the town.

The should consider the Fallujah method--level the buildings housing the Islamists.
Posted by: JohnQC   2013-01-16 10:02