French forces have launched an air strike on the southern fringe of the Sahara, intervening to help Mali’s army stop al-Qaeda fighters from advancing towards the country’s capital.And at Atlas Shrugs, "FRENCH AIR STRIKES HELP MALIAN ARMY BEAT BACK ISLAMIC SUPREMACIST PRO-SHARIA REBELS."
President François Hollande declared that Mali’s very existence was threatened by “terrorist aggression”, adding: “French army forces supported Malian units this afternoon to fight against terrorist elements.”
The battle came after hundreds of Islamist gunmen struck beyond their stronghold in northern Mali and seized the town of Konna in the central region on Thursday.
This placed them less than 40 miles from Mopti, the last garrison town protecting the road to the capital, Bamako. President Dioncounda Traore of Mali appealed for help from France, the former colonial power, and a counter-attack began Friday with the aim of retaking Konna.
Just hours after the assault was launched, reports claimed that Malian forces had successfully retaken Konna with French military support. “We are there now,” Lieutenant Colonel Diaran Kone told Reuters.
“Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb” (AQIM) and its local allies captured three regions of northern Mali last year, gaining control over 300,000 square miles. In the past week, they have begun moving southwards and taking even more territory.
Friday, January 11, 2013
At Telegraph UK, "France launches air strike on al-Qaeda in Mali":