French Armed Forces began operation Serval in Mali to fight Islamist rebels 1201132

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French Armed Forces Operation Serval in Mali

 
 
Saturday, January 12, 2013, 09:17 AM
 
French Armed Forces began operation Serval in Mali to fight Islamist rebels.
The French army operation Serval began on Friday, January 11, 2013 when Mali appealed to France, the former colonial power in the region, for help after hostile forces surged toward the town of Mopti, a regional capital. The operation began on 11 January 2013 with French Army Aviation Gazelle SA342 light combat helicopters armed with 20 mm cannons and HOT anti-tank missile from the 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment attacking a rebel column near Sévaré.
     
The French army operation Serval began on Friday, January 11, 2013 when Mali appealed to France, the former colonial power in the region, for help after hostile forces surged toward the town of Mopti, a regional capital. The operation began on 11 January 2013 with French Army Aviation Gazelle SA342 light combat helicopters armed with 20 mm cannons from the 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment attacking a rebel column near Sévaré.
French military preparing a Mirage 2000D fighter plane at the French military base of N'Djamena, Chad.
     

The French Air Force has deployed two Mirage F1 CR Reconnaissance fighter aircraft from the 1/33 "Belfort" Reconnaissance Squadron and six Mirage 2000D fighter jets, which are part of the French military Opération Épervier in the neighboring country of Chad.

Rafale fighter jets of the Normandie-Niemen regiment are prepared for deployment; as well as two companies of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment.

Additionally the Air Force deployed three KC-135 Stratotanker planes, as well as one C-130 Hercules and one Transall C-160 transport planes. French ground forces deployed by 12 January include one company of the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment, an Armored Cavalry platoon of the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment and one company of the 2nd Marine Infantry Regiment.

French forces suffered one casualty when a Gazelle attack helicopter came under small arms fire and one of the two pilots was hit. The pilot later died of his injuries. The other pilot managed to fly the helicopter back to base, but the aircraft was written off as lost due to the damage sustained.

     
 

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