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Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:33 PM

French Troops Begin Land Assault In Mali, Moving North To Jihadist-Held Diabaly

Source: Associated Press

BAMAKO, Mali - French troops pressed north in Mali toward territory occupied by radical Islamists on Wednesday, launching a land assault which will put soldiers in direct combat "in 1 to 72 hours," military officials said.

French ground operations began overnight, France's military chief of staff Adm. Edouard Guillaud, said on Europe 1 television Wednesday. He stressed that French infantry units "will be fighting directly in coming hours, but I am unable to say whether it is in one hour or in 72 hours. ... Of course, we will be fighting directly."

Armoured vehicles loaded with French troops were seen heading toward Niono. The natural target for the French infantry is Diabaly, located 400 kilometres (250 miles) northeast of the capital and roughly 70 kilometres (45 miles) north of Niono. French warplanes have carried out airstrikes on Diabaly since the weekend, when a column of dozens of rebel vehicles cut off the road to Diabaly and seized the town as well as its military camp.

A trickle of refugees left on foot from Diabaly, a town seized two days ago by the jihadists who have held onto it despite a punishing bombing campaign by French fighter jets. The refugees arrived in Niono town, 70 kilometres (43 miles) south of Diabaly, according to residents.


Read more: http://www.globalwinnipeg.com/world/french+troops+begin+land+assault+in+mali+moving+north+to+jihadist-held+diabaly/6442789254/story.html

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Reply French Troops Begin Land Assault In Mali, Moving North To Jihadist-Held Diabaly (Original post)
Purveyor Jan 2013 OP
Comrade Grumpy Jan 2013 #1
Purveyor Jan 2013 #3
Aristus Jan 2013 #6
NCarolinawoman Jan 2013 #2
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #4
maxsolomon Jan 2013 #5

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:41 PM

1. Meanwhile, the Islamists open up a new front with the Algerian gas field attack.

And now they have a bunch of Western hostages.

You never know how these things will go.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:46 PM

3. I don't have a really good feeling about this. Hope the French know what they are marching into. nt

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:56 PM

6. The French Foreign Legion are past masters of rescuing hostages.

Whether the willingness to do so is there remains to be seen. Nobody likes being called a "cheese-eating surrender-monkey". The American hostages may be on their own...

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:42 PM

2. Thanks for this information. n/t

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:00 PM

4. It a country twice the size of Afghanistan

with a third of the population and the rebels driving round in pick up trucks. Good luck with that.

I must say I do find it odd that the rebel groups have English names given they speak French there.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:10 PM

5. Bon chance.

Mali is too important, historically & musically, to lose to Monotheistic fundamentalism.

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