French armed forces control major part of Mali after 3 weeks since start Operation Serval 0102131

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French Armed Forces Operation Serval in Mali

 
 
Friday, February 1, 2013, 11:50 AM
 
French armed forces control the major part of Mali after 3 weeks since the start of Operation Serval.
After a successful three-week operation, French troops are close to recapturing all the key northern towns previously held by the rebels. They took Timbuktu and Gao over the weekend. Early on Wednesday, January 31, 2013, they secured the airport in the desert town of Kidal, meeting no resistance, but were prevented from entering the town itself because of a sandstorm.
     
After a successful three-week operation, French troops are close to recapturing all the key northern towns previously held by the rebels. They took Timbuktu and Gao over the weekend. Early on Wednesday, January 31, 2013, they secured the airport in the desert town of Kidal, meeting no resistance, but were prevented from entering the town itself because of a sandstorm.
French special forces on VPS Panhard light 4x4 tactical vehicle drive through the city of Gao, Northern Mali, Wednesday Jan. 30, 2013.

     

French soldiers installed on the airport of Kidal continue their mission to secure the area and wait the arrival of African forces.

Nearly fifteen air operations have taken place in the last 24 hours with 6 missions dedicated for fire support and intelligence.

The strengthening of the French forces now allows the possibility to send logistic convoys from Bamako to Gao to supply soldiers deployed to the north. This logistical capacity remains essential to conduct all military operations in good conditions.

African contingents of MISMA continue their deployment. Two battalions of Nigerian and Malian joined today the city of Gao. The Chadian National Armed Forces continue their offensive reconnaissance in the north to make a junction with the French soldiers in Kidal.

Chadian soldiers left their temporary base in Niamey on Wednesday, January 31, 2013, to advance towards the town of Gorou, Niger and towards the country's northern border to enter Mali. The troops are part of a larger African force known as African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA), which is due to send more than 8,000 soldiers to Mali to aid in the country's fight against Islamist militants.

     

Heavy trucks were also dropped by aircraft during this airdrop of the 17e RGP (17th Parachute Engineer Regiment) on the Timbuktu airport, Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

     
The paratroopers of the 17e RGP (17th Parachute Engineer Regiment) that were been airdropped, Tuesday, January 29, 2013, on the airport of Timbuktu continue to repair the trackway to allow access to military transport aircraft.

During this airdrop, heavy engineer equipment has also been airdropped, including trucks and bulldozers to make the cleaning of the trackway and restore air traffic.

The 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment (French: 17e Régiment de Génie Parachutiste, 17e RGP) is the only airborne engineer unit of the French Army. It forms the engineering component of the 11th Parachute Brigade.

Thanks to its unique know-how, specialized teams and its specific military equipment, the 17th RGP is able to destroy fortified places, to make mine clearing , create obstacles, recognize and to build an airdrop area, seize and repair airport facilities, destroy main objectives and make reconnaissance missions of crossing sites, bridges and suburban networks.
     
Video airdrop 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment of French Army on Timbuktu airport
     

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