Mali jihadists waiting for the next battle
Islam pushed too hard and the French have had enough. Now the jihadists who took control of North Mali will have to answer to the might of the French military. There will be some bombs, a few drone strikes, maybe shelling and in retaliation the jihadists will kill some French soldiers, destroy some equipment and that will be that. Nothing will be gained from a Western perspective, and Islam will continue to grow and take over the rest of Mali. Give it less than two years.
From Reuters January 11 by John Irish and Bate Felix
Malian army beats back Islamist rebels with French help
Malian government troops drove back Islamist rebels from a strategic central town afterFrance intervened on Friday with air strikes to halt advances by the militants controlling the country's desert north.
Western governments, particularly former colonial power France, had voiced alarm after the al Qaeda-linked rebel alliance captured the town of Konna on Thursday, a gateway towards the capital Bamako 600 km (375 miles) south.
President Francois Hollande said France would not stand by to watch the rebels push southward. Paris has repeatedly warned that the Islamists' seizure of the country's north in April gave them a base to attack neighboring African countries and Europe.
"We are faced with blatant aggression that is threatening Mali's very existence. France cannot accept this," Hollande, who recently pledged Paris would not to meddle in African affairs, said in a New Year speech to diplomats and journalists.
The president said resolutions by the United Nations Security Council, which in December sanctioned an African-led military intervention in Mali, meant France was acting in accordance with international law.
In Washington, a U.S. official told Reuters the Pentagon was weighing options in Mali, including intelligence-sharing with France and logistics support.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius confirmed France had carried out air strikes against the rebels to prevent them conquering the whole of Mali. He refused to reveal further details...
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