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Monday, January 14, 2013

France says it has slowed the progress Salafi in Mali, but continues its air offensive

France continued its air offensive in Mali in an attempt to halt the advance of the Salafist groupsthat control the north of the country, reported Sunday the defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian. "There is a constant incursions.'s There in the moment, has been there tonight and tomorrow," said Le Drian in an interview to the chain  i-Télé , in which he recalled that the ultimate goal is to get recover Mali territorial integrity. Up to four fighter Rafale participated in bombing operations on the positions of the Islamist militias in the city of Gao and surroundings. The owner added that aviation has achieved destroying hangars and other places "sensitive" and confirmed that, in addition to offering logistical support received from the United Kingdom, the United States also expressed his intention to provide logistical support. Local residents have confirmed these attacks. All bases of Islamists have been destroyed ", said an eyewitness told French daily telephone  Le ParisienSources of security forces in the area have confirmed that the French attack was "useless" what would be the main base of the jihadists in Gao, one of the three provincial capitals controlled by Islamist insurgents for months. Le Drian insisted that "France is at war against terrorism , wherever you are ", and to that end shall mobilize all necessary resources and enhance the device has already been launched" depending on the situation. " "We are able to respond with aircraft and troops on the ground," said the minister, who stressed that the threat posed by these groups Salafists Mali rests not only on but also in the rest of Africa and Europe .

Curbing Islamist advance

The French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, said Sunday that it has failed to curb the Islamist advance into southern Mali, but still must remain on the offensive to the African country can regain its territorial integrity. In an interview with the chain LCI , Fabius said that if France had not intervened, the Salafists, who control since mid-2012 northern Mali, "and have come to Bamako ", the capital. Fabius particularly grateful to Algeria have been allowed to "fly over its airspace without limitation." "We work with the Algerians and continued talking. Believe that if African troops-an allusion to the ECOWAS contingent to be deployed immediately in Mali-should head north, you will need to close their borders Algerians," he said. Fabius added that France intends that its aid to Mali Army is "essentially air" , but stressed that these raids are successful must have certain connections in the field.

An unprepared offensive

The gala performance, which includes a display of units in Bamako, had not been prepared months in advance, but was precipitated, he recalled, the request for help launched Thursday by the interim president of Mali, Dioncunda Traoré, and by the realization that if not intervened Bamako "would have fallen in two or three days." The Salafist offensive, which began last Thursday, the head of the group Ansar Al Din , supported by the jihadists of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Monotheism and Jihad in West Africa (MYAO), and according to Le Drian, it is group "well armed and motivated." "These terrorists are both a dangerous mix between Islamic fundamentalists and mercenaries and smugglers , "he said in that interview, in which he said that although they are" looking to do the same the territory between Mauritania and Libya lawless space, the novelty is that they have decided to come together and act." The minister added that the French helicopter pilot who died on Saturday was hit by a shot , not a missile, and noted that among the rebels has been "a significant number of casualties," said no. It also stressed that "the security of Mali, France and of Europe is part of the same debate," and showed the "total determination" of the French authorities to " eradicate terrorism ".

Death of a leader of Ansar al Din

leader of radical Salafist group Ansar al Din , one of the Islamist organizations that controls northern Mali since last June, died during combat in Konna last Friday, in the center of the country, a military source said Sunday. The deceased, identified only as Abdelkarim and presented as deputy leader of the group, Iyad Ag Ghali, died at the beginning of the counteroffensive launched by the Malian army with support from the French aviation. "Affirmative, the terrorist leader is dead , "the captain said Sunday Sidi Djara, located on the front and I was contacted by phone from Bamako. The official did not specify, however, the circumstances in which occurred the death of the leader next to Ag Ghali, or whether he died by gunfire from Malian troops or French bombardment.


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