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Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:15 PM

Mali: French-led soldiers 'in control of Gao'

Source: BBC

French-led troops in Mali have taken control of the northern town of Gao, the French defence ministry has said.

The town was previously a stronghold of Islamist fighters after it was seized by an alliance of Tuareg rebels and Islamists last April.

French-led troops moved into Gao itself after earlier securing the airport and a strategic bridge to the south.

Gao was one of the first places targeted by French airstrikes when it began its military intervention.



Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21210496



More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/26/french-troops-mali-gao-airport

13 replies, 1836 views

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Reply Mali: French-led soldiers 'in control of Gao' (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 OP
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #1
Lasher Jan 2013 #4
Posteritatis Jan 2013 #7
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #2
bluedigger Jan 2013 #3
Lasher Jan 2013 #5
Posteritatis Jan 2013 #6
daleo Jan 2013 #8
DCBob Jan 2013 #9
arely staircase Jan 2013 #12
DCBob Jan 2013 #13
jsr Jan 2013 #10
Lasher Jan 2013 #11

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:19 PM

1. Seems to be going fairly smoothly so far. They don't have that many ground troops there.

(a few thousand?)

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:10 PM

4. It helps to have backing from the residents.

Locals have been calling in to identify airstrike targets. I guess they don't think it's proper to hack off people's hands if they are caught stealing.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:46 PM

7. About 2,500 French troops and I think three times that from neighbouring countries

Most of the ECOWAS members are sending personnel from the looks of it.

(And Mali's military as well, of course, but they're kinda hors de combat at this point.)

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:24 PM

2. After the US, China, and Israel

I think the French have the best trained military. Yes, the Russians and the British might grumble (and the Germans might, too), but I don't think you'd want a division of French troops standing against you.

Let the ignorant insults commence.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:37 PM

3. Kind of a meaningless comparison.

There's leadership, training, discipline, and equipment. All count, and are we talking rank and file troops or elite units? The larger the force the more variety in quality can be expected. All the countries you mention have excellent elite units. I'd add in the Koreas, both North and South, and Australia. I wouldn't like to match up with any of them.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:11 PM

5. Let the ignorant insults commence.

Hee hee, I like that. Much better than this:

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:39 PM

6. To say nothing of an FFL regiment, which is the case here. (nt)

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:44 PM

8. How long do the French plan to stay?

Because that's the difficult part. Furthermore, how long can they support a government that was installed via a military coup, and whose soldiers are committing atrocities?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:35 PM

9. I hope they can take back Timbuktu..

the islamist rebels have reportedly already destroyed many important historical sites there.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:57 PM

12. i thought they had retaken it

and yes the fundies were destryoying things there.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 04:41 PM

13. yes they did.. today.

I posted this yesterday, so I got my wish.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:26 PM

10. The northern part is as big as France

Good luck to them.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:32 PM

11. I've gotta give Obama some credit here.

He has resisted involvement in new entanglements like this. I think intervention in Mali is justified, but I don't think the USA should take the lead every time.

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