The first ground assault by French troops against Islamist rebels in Mali is well underway.
Columns of French armoured vehicles have been advancing north towards rebel positions from the town of Niono, 300 kilometres from the capital Bamako.
A Malian Army spokesman says French special forces are taking part in the operation.
Militant islamists took control of vast swathes of desert in Mali’s north last year.
They now also claim to be in control of three key towns in the centre of the country – Diabali, Cala and Kona.
With the northern border region near Mauritania secured by the Malian Army, the rebels may find themselves pinned down between the border and the advancing French.
Rebel fighters raise their flag on the outskirts of the town of Kona.
Commentators say French intervention has been necessary but is not sufficient. The arrival of West African troops as reinforcement is much anticipated.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1[As it happened] Still United Kingdom: Scottish voters reject independence
- 2Watch: Angry mob throw Ukraine MP into rubbish bin
- 3Ukraine: Donetsk rebel weapons factory blows up
- 4France launches initial airstrikes against IS and promises more to come
- 5Young American sentenced to six-years hard labour in North Korea
- 1Podemos: Spanish indignation in Brussels’ corridors of power | euronews, reporter
- 2Israel announces it will seize 400 acres in West Bank | euronews, world news
- 3Watch: Angry mob throw Ukraine MP into rubbish bin | euronews, world news
- 4Japan sounds bluefin warning, calls for 50% catch cut | euronews, world news
- 5Hoverbike on the horizon | euronews, hi-tech
- 6China executes eight Muslims convicted of terrorism | euronews, world news
- 7New car offers freedom for disabled drivers | euronews, hi-tech
- 83D printing: a driving force in design and engineering | euronews, hi-tech
- 9Rise of the machines | euronews, futuris
- 10Ukraine accuses Russian aid convoy of stealing factory equipment | euronews, world news
- 11Iraq: Baghdad rally held against US ‘occupiers’ | euronews, world news
- 12Young Yazidi girl escapes Islamic State kidnappers | euronews, world news
- 13#ن: How an Arabic letter was reclaimed to support Iraq’s persecuted Christians | euronews, world news
- 14EU leaders name Donald Tusk European Council president | euronews, world news
- 15The business benefits of EU chemical regulation | euronews, business planet
- 16#Indyref Live: Scotland votes on independence from UK | euronews, world news
- 17Canada sends hilarious barb to Russia over Ukraine ‘incursions’ | euronews, world news
- 18Official ‘executed by flame-thrower’ over links to Kim Jong-un’s purged uncle | euronews, world news
- 19Thousands of Catalans call for choice on split from Spain | euronews, world news
- 20Iceland puts on a show as two of its volcanoes spew out lava | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 12:32 CET Kurds issue new call to arms against Islamic State in Syria
- 11:44 CET Families of German MH17 victims to sue Ukraine: lawyer
- 11:07 CET Wife of Alan Henning, Briton held by Islamic State, pleads for his…
- 08:42 CET New Zealand PM storms to third term but faces slowing growth ahead
- 07:36 CET Exclusive – Iran seeks give and take on militants, nuclear…
- 03:40 CET Iraqi Christians fly to new life in France after escaping Islamic…
- 03:30 CET Sierra Leone Ebola burial team attacked despite lockdown
- 02:44 CET U.S. to deliver 10 Apache helicopters to Egypt – Pentagon