French paratroopers of 2e REP Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment were parachuted on Timbuktu 2801132
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French Armed Forces Operation Serval in Mali
|Monday, January 28, 2013, 01:00 PM|
|French paratroopers of 2e REP Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment were parachuted on Timbuktu.|
French army spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard has announced, on Monday morning, January 28, 2013, French soldiers of the 2e REP (2nd Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment) were parachuted into strategic points overnight to prepare the way for Malian forces to recapture Timbuktu from Islamist rebels. Two C-130 and three C-160 Transall military transport aircraft drop French paratroops north of the city of Timbuktu to lock access.
Drop of a company of the 2e REP Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment (2e REP) to Timbuktu, seen from a drone Harfang.
At the same time, a force of 600 French soldiers left Friday from the city of Niono, arrived from the west to take the control of the airport of Timbuktu. These units have been supported by attack helicopters and fighter aircraft.
Defence chiefs from the West African regional grouping ECOWAS agreed on Saturday to boost their troop pledges for Mali to 5700. Chad, which is not a member of the 15-nation bloc, has promised a further 2000 soldiers.
France said on Sunday it had now deployed 2900 troops and 2700 African soldiers were on the ground in Mali and Niger, but French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault appealed for more aid.
In Gao, after the attack of the French Special Forces, Saturday morning, January 26, 2013, an air assault was conducted by a company of the 1e RCP (1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment) arrived from Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
In Dakar, the French amphibious assault ship BPC Dixmude just arrived and began to unload new French troops with dozen of armoured vehicles that will take the road of Mali.
Company of the 1e RCP (1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment) during the air assault on the airport of Gao. (January 26, 2013)
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