United Kingdom to help France military operation Mali with C17 military transport aircraft 1401131
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Defence News - United Kingdom
|Monday, January 14, 2013, 08:25 AM|
|United Kingdom to help France for military operation in Mali with C17 military transport aircraft.|
A British Royal Air Force (RAF) C17 military cargo plane has arrived at a Paris airbase to help French military efforts to contain rebels in Mali. The first of two planes will load up with French armoured vehicles and other equipment before flying to the West African state on Monday, January 14, 2013.
A C17 Transport aircraft of 99 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton is pictured enroute to a flypast over Buckingham Palace for the Queen's Birthday. (Credit photo British MOD)
France has attacked Islamist militants in Mali in recent days, to support the Malian government.
The first plane flew from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire to the Evreux airbase where it will be loaded with French armoured vehicles and other equipment before flying to Bamako. It will make just one trip.
The second C17 will shuttle between Mali and France for the next few days.
French fighter jets yesterday bombarded Mali’s major northern city of Gao, pounding rebel-held facilities.
Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said French and Malian forces had helped stop the advance on Bamako.
Some 400 French troops have been deployed so far.
But French sources admitted that they were surprised by how “well armed and well-trained” the fanatics are.
Helicopter pilot Lieutenant Damien Boiteux, 41, died in the French onslaught