Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Military Space News .




WAR REPORT
French launches 'total reconquest' of Mali's north
by Staff Writers
Bamako (AFP) Jan 20, 2013


France says military goal is 'total reconquest of Mali'
Paris (AFP) Jan 20, 2013 - French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday the end goal of France's military action in Mali was to retake control of the whole country from Islamist militants who have seized the north.

"The goal is the total reconquest of Mali. We will not leave any pockets" of resistance, Le Drian said on France 5 television.

"The goal is to ensure that AFISMA, the African force, can take the baton from our own intervention," he said.

Asked if French forces could move as far north as Timbuktu, Le Drian indicated that it was up to African forces to get there first.

"If necessary, the African forces can appeal for support from French forces when they arrive in Timbuktu," he said.

Le Drian also said Malian forces had not yet been able to retake the town of Diabaly, seized nearly a week ago by Islamists and then heavily bombed by French planes.

"At this moment the city of Diabaly has not yet been retaken by Malian forces," he said, adding, the situation there should improve "in the hours to come".

"The Malian army with the support of French ground forces are approaching Diabaly," the minister said.

French troops on Sunday consolidated gains in Mali's Islamist-held north as Paris said the aim was its "total reconquest" and Russia, Canada and Germany offered vital aid for the offensive.

The French advance towards the jihadist strongholds came amid reports that the Al-Qaeda linked militants were abandoning some of their positions and converging on the mountainous region of Kidal, their northernmost bastion, 1,500 kilometres (900 miles) from Bamako and near the border with Algeria.

Kidal was the first town seized by an amalgam of Islamist militants and Tuareg separatist groups in March last year. The two sides then had a falling out and the Islamists have since gained the upper hand in the vast desert north.

"The goal is the total reconquest of Mali. We will not leave any pockets" of resistance, French Defence Minister Le Drian said on France 5 television.

Le Drian said seven French citizens taken hostage by Islamist militants in Niger and Mali in recent years were alive, adding there had been "contacts with the hostage-takers".

There had been fears over their fate since the start of the French military intervention in Mali, which sparked a brazen hostage attack in neighbouring Algeria that rocked the world.

The 72-hour stand-off ended in scores of deaths.

Fifty Senegalese soldiers arrived in the Mali capital Bamako, taking the number of African troops there to 150. The planned force will comprise 5,800 soldiers, but deployment has been slow, hampered by cash and logistical constraints.

And a radical Islamist group Ansaru on Sunday claimed responsibility for an attack in central Nigeria that killed two soldiers who were due to be deployed to Mali, injuring five others.

The regional powerhouse last week boosted its troop commitment for Mali to 1,200 soldiers from 900 planned earlier.

In a statement in poor English, Ansaru said: "We have successfully execute our first attempt in (crippling) the Nigerian army troops (whose aim was) to demolish the Islamic empire of Mali."

French troops on the ground meanwhile said they were buttressing their positions.

"The deployment towards the north... which began 24 hours ago, is on course with troops inside the towns of Niono and Sevare," Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Dosseur told reporters, referring to key frontline outposts.

Niono is about 350 kilometres northeast of the Malian capital and 60 kilometres south of Diabaly, which was seized nearly a week ago by Islamists and then heavily bombed by French planes.

Sevare has a strategically important airport which could help serve as a base for operations further north. It is about 630 kilometres northeast of Bamako.

The town is also near Konna, whose seizure by Islamists on January 10 sparked the French military intervention in the former colony against the forces occupying northern Mali for about nine months.

"We are in a phase of pushing forward," said a French lieutenant-colonel in charge of operations in Niono and the town of Diabaly, whose fate remains unclear.

Defence Minister Le Drian however said that "everything points to a favourable evolution of the situation in Diabaly in the coming hours."

The region where the towns are located is known for housing the most martial and fanatical Islamists.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Russia had offered to help transport troops and supplies to Mali and Canada had extended help to bring African troops to the country.

Asked how African troops would be transported, Fabius said "there is transportation that will be partly by the Africans themselves, partly by the Europeans and partly by the Canadians."

"And the Russians have proposed to provide means of transport for the French, so it's fairly diverse," he said.

The announcement came a day after an emergency west African summit of the ECOWAS regional bloc called on the United Nations "to immediately provide financial and logistical backing for the deployment of MISMA", the African force.

Germany Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle responded to the appeal, saying "the African troops need financial aid" and pledging to do its bit without setting an amount.

.


Related Links






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WAR REPORT
Protest against Iraq PM blocks highway to Syria, Jorda
Ramadi, Iraq (AFP) Dec 23, 2012
About 2,000 Iraqi protesters, demanding the ouster of premier Nuri al-Maliki, blocked on Sunday a highway in western Iraq leading to Syria and Jordan, an AFP correspondent reported. The protesters, including local officials, religious and tribal leaders, turned out in Ramadi, the capital of Sunni province of Anbar, to demonstrate against the arrest of nine guards of Finance Minister Rafa al- ... read more


WAR REPORT
Raytheon supports 40 years of Fleet defense through AEGIS system development

Lockheed Martin Receives Contract for Production of PAC-3 Missiles

Turkey Patriot missiles operational by Feb: NATO

Russia to add 3 new anti-missile radars

WAR REPORT
Raytheon awarded contract for HARM upgrade

Short-range ballistic missile again fired in Syria: NATO

Iran develops new missile launcher

Thatcher 'warned France to cut off Exocets in Falklands war'

WAR REPORT
Northrop Grumman, Cassidian Fly First Sensor-Equipped Euro Hawk

TerraLuma Selects Headwall's Micro Hyperspec for UAV Applications

Elbit Systems to Supply Long-Range Observation Systems to the Israeli Ministry of Defense

US Army Awards AeroVironment Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Contract

WAR REPORT
NATO member orders Falcon III radios

Lockheed Martin Completes Work on US Navy's Second MUOS Satellite

Russia Set to Launch Three Military Satellites

TS Receives Funding For SNAP Deployable Satellite Systems Equipment

WAR REPORT
Lockheed Martin Receives USAF Approval For Sniper Pod Full-Rate Production Under ATP-SE Program

Operators use JLENS for IED warfare simulation

Northrop Grumman to Provide Hand Held Precision Targeting Devices to US Army

Elbit Systems to Supply the Israeli Ministry of Defense with Cardom Artillery Systems

WAR REPORT
Swedish, Swiss Gripen buys closer

Outside View: Brain-based approach

Russia, Bangladesh seal $1 bln arms deal

Anglo-Italian helicopter firm wins $567 mln S. Korea deal

WAR REPORT
Mali operation another burden for French budget

China media seize on Japan ex-PM's memorial visit

Chile's 'Power-opedia' shines light on elites

Senate to hold Hagel confirmation hearing Jan 31

WAR REPORT
Chemistry resolves toxic concerns about carbon nanotubes

Engineer making rechargeable batteries with layered nanomaterials

New nanotech fiber: Robust handling, shocking performance

Southampton scientist develops strongest, lightest glass nanofibres in the world




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement