French army tanks are heading from the Malian capital Bamako under the cover of darkness towards the north of the country, to target areas currently in the hands of militant islamists.
It is the first time ground troops have been deployed in the six-day operation.
French air strikes against militant strongholds in the north began last Friday and are continuing.
The town of Diabali, 400 kilometres from Bamako, fell on Tuesday. France’s foreign minister has also admitted the Malian army is still not in full control of Kona, the key town whose fall prompted the foreign intervention last week.
Paris currently has 800 soldiers deployed in Mali, and the aim is to increase that number to 2,500. France says Belgium, the US, Canada, Denmark and Germany have also offered support.
The operation has been largely welcomed by Malians, who have witnessed their country suffer a series of defeats by rebel forces. The general feeling is that the rebels will not be able to gain much ground now that the French-led intervention has begun.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1Fears over spread of Ebola as more tragedies emerge
- 2Muslims around the world get set to celebrate the ending of Ramadan
- 3Russia opens humanitarian corridor for injured Ukrainian troops, Russian state TV claims
- 4#ن: How an Arabic letter was reclaimed to support Iraq’s persecuted Christians
- 5Norway terror threat raised
- 1EU targets top Russian officials in new sanctions
- 2#ن: How an Arabic letter was reclaimed to support Iraq’s persecuted Christians
- 3Hamas announces new Gaza truce after Israel restarts military assault amid rocket fire
- 4Norway terror threat raised
- 5Russia opens humanitarian corridor for injured Ukrainian troops, Russian state TV claims
- 1#ن: How an Arabic letter was reclaimed to support Iraq’s persecuted Christians
- 2Air Algerie plane ‘crashes’ over Sahara
- 347 dead and 11 injured in TransAsia Airways crash landing
- 4TransAsia Airways plane crashes on landing in Taiwan, killing dozens
- 5Eastern Ukrainians ‘hate Russian-led guerrillas’ — Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Wires > News
- 10:46 CET Lavrov says Russia will not respond in kind to Western sanctions
- 09:56 CET Islamist militants kill 18 civilians in Philippines
- 09:45 CET Russia says hopeful Malaysia jet crash investigation will be…
- 09:39 CET Sri Lankan asylum seekers in Australia limbo could sue government
- 09:13 CET Pakistan mob kills woman, girls, over ‘blasphemous’ Facebook post
- 08:54 CET China says may have citizens fighting in Iraq
- 08:38 CET Australia cracks opens door to foreign submarine build
- 08:23 CET Australian police to renew bid to access Ukraine crash site