U.S. will support French Army Operation Serval in Mali with intelligence refueling aircraft 1701132

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Defence News - United States

 
 
Thursday, January 17, 2013, 09:06 AM
 
U.S. will support French Army Operation Serval in Mali with intelligence and refueling aircraft.
The United States welcomed the French military action in Mali and was providing support to the French forces, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. "It's absolutely critical to stop the offensive of terrorist groups towards southern Mali, to prevent the collapse of the government, and to accelerate the implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions on Mali," Nuland told reporters at a briefing.
     
The United States welcomed the French military action in Mali and was providing support to the French forces, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. "It's absolutely critical to stop the offensive of terrorist groups towards southern Mali, to prevent the collapse of the government, and to accelerate the implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions on Mali," Nuland told reporters at a briefing.
A British military personnel fixed a French armoured ambulance in a C-17 of the British Royal Air Force. Denmark, Belgium and the UK have already supplied military transport C-17 et C-130 to support French army operations in Mali.
     

"So, it's in that context that the U.S. very much welcomes the French military action in Mali, which came at the request of Mali' s president, as well as support being offered by other governments, " she said.

The al-Qaida-linked rebels in northern Mali are facing increasing pressure after days of bombardment by French war planes and the French decision to deploy more troops on the ground to help Mali's government forces.

During a visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande said the French forces in Mali will increase from the current 750 to 2,500.

On Friday, Paris confirmed its military operations in Mali to back the government forces in fighting the rebels, who briefly seized the central town of Konna and threatened the southern part of Mali, including the capital Bamako.

Right now, the Malian military claims it has regained control of Konna with support of the French army. It has vowed to continue to uproot the rebels in cooperation with the former colonial power of France and regional countries.

Nuland noted that Washington supported the immediate deployment of the African-led international support mission, primarily from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). She also urged the government of Mali to move forward on a political transition process.

In terms of the U.S. support to French troops, Nuland said Washington was already providing intelligence to the French military, and was considering to help them airlift forces into Mali and refuel their jet fighters.

 

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