On Thursday and Friday, in the West African state of Mali, French soldiers killed more than 30 Islamist militants during three operations against Al Qaeda and Islamic State groups. The Armed Forces of France stated this as quoted by Reuters.
"In the Gourma region, soldiers of the French army of the Barkhan mission killed about 20 militants and destroyed several cars, while another 10 were destroyed in the Liptako region, the stronghold of the Islamic State," the army said.
The operations involved a drone, military aircraft and two helicopters.
France said it plans to deploy another 600 soldiers to fight militants in the West African Sahel region, located south of the Sahara desert. Reinforcement will mainly be directed to the area between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.
France, a former colonial power, has been fighting terrorists in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad) as part of the Barkhan mission since 2014. It involves 4,500 French soldiers.
The United Nations, France and the United States have invested billions of dollars in stabilizing the region, but this has not brought significant success.
As we reported before, according to the Directorate General of Intelligence, the militants are carrying out additional mining along the line of contact in Donbas, even in the immediate proximity to settlements and civilian infrastructure.