French troops clashed with Malian rebels «in the coming hours,» the Associated Press reports citing military. Troops had moved out of the capital Bamako to the north in the direction of the territories seized by Islamists.
France began a ground operation in Mali in the evening on January 15, said Chief of Staff Admiral Edouard French troops Guillot (Edouard Guillaud). Interior Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed this information and noted that the operation will last as long as is needed, writes The Guardian.
The representative of the French army explained that land deeds are needed because air attacks on the Islamists was not enough. According to him, they hide behind civilians as «human shield» because bombing will inevitably lead to innocent victims. Edouard Guillaud promised that the French military will not strike if the opportunity that affected civilian inhabitants.
Earlier Tuesday, Jan. 15 France stated that the amount of increment own military in Mali from 800 to 2.5 thousand people. Initially it was assumed that control the operation are African neighbors Mali and Paris just give them support. But in fact situation is quite different: to lead the coming fighters will be the French troops.
In total military support Mali volunteered itself little 13 states, but now there are only French. Neighbors Mali — Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Niger, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Togo — have promised to bring the country’s own fighter. U.S. supports communications and provides intelligence and England engaged in logistics.
North Mali spring 2012 as a result of a military coup took first Tuareg separatists, Islamists and then associated with «Al-Qaeda». Malian authorities enlisted the support of France after the capture militants Kona — strategically principal town, which opens the way to the capital.