Opération Serval - Mali.

The announcement that French forces will leave their bases of Kidal, Tessalit and Timbuktu between now and the beginning of 2022 is causing alarm in the population of those cities.

The groups that demanded the departure of French military forces are now silent and the locals are saying the malian forces will be incapable of fighting the terror groups.


Well, not unreasonably given those where amongst the first over-run by the Jihadists last time.

From memory the jihadists advanced rapidly from the north east of the country , and were only halted at the outskirts of Mopti (roughly in the middle) by the excellent French intervention.

Now we can all debate whether the Jihadists could have advanced through to Bamako (or frankly if they wanted to), but if I were in Timbutku, Kidal or Tessalit which all look a long way from Bamako and deep within areas I suspect would be in the area of influence of (if not shadow governmeny by) Jihadists, I'd be making sure I had some modest clothes in the house and could recite the Shahada very well if asked.
mali.JPG
 
The announcement that French forces will leave their bases of Kidal, Tessalit and Timbuktu between now and the beginning of 2022 is causing alarm in the population of those cities.

The groups that demanded the departure of French military forces are now silent and the locals are saying the malian forces will be incapable of fighting the terror groups.

Going the same way as Afgan?
 
Going the same way as Afgan?
Wouldn't be a unfair assessment.

In many ways a better enviroment for Jihadists. Plenty of borders to cause operational friction, smuggling to earn money, weak states, very complex humain terrain and disinterested western nations.

Edited to add, only real downside for the jihadists would be fratricidal conflict from a lack of unitary shadow government like in Afghanistan. Here everyone can be an Emir
 
Going the same way as Afgan?

It depends on what you mean by that.

If it’s a comparison with the departure of all Western forces from AFG, then the answer is no, not yet. France will still leave about 2,500 troops in the area, and there are other multinational forces as well (EUTM Mali which is now expanding onto other countries, MINUSMA and TF Takuba).

If you mean that jihadist terror groups are expanding, then the answer is yes.

They are not necessarily more numerous but they range over much larger area. Since all the nations of the GoG are incapable of governing and defending themselves to the full, they exploit the weaknesses of the central governments, always following the same pattern, that is :

1) subversion, radical preachers in local mosques, recommendation to follow the chariah law
2) infiltration of armed groups, « public relation » phase, « protection » of the locals against banditry, recruitment of the youth
3) Harassment of security forces, use of IEDs, and assassination of government officials, even at the lowest level
4) Guerilla warfare, attack against security forces positions, convoys etc
5) Administration of the conquered area, enforcement of the sharia law….and movement to another area to repeat the process.

What is worrying is that the areas where the jihadists are moving now are forested and the technological advantage enjoyed by nations operating MALE UAVs will be severely hampered…
 
TF Takuba update; several nations are augmenting their participations

A Scan Eagle UAV and a Casa 235 transport aircraft in the Czech contingent.

A small norwegian element in the Swedish contingent from this autumn until 2022.

20 additional Portuguese soldiers
 
As a thank you gesture to the French Role 2 in Gao which treated German soldiers WIA after the 25 June 2021 SVBIED attack against one of their AFVs operating under the MINUSMA flag, German military personnel based in France have given their blood in a recent blood collecting drive organized by the French forces in Paris.

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U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffrey Gipson, 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron outgoing commander, relinquishes command during the squadron’s change of command ceremony held at Nigerien Air Base 201, Agadez, Niger, July 13, 2021.

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Niger has opened a training center for special forces in Tilla, Niger.

This centre has been largely financed by Germany as part of its CJSOTF Gazelle project. it should be able to welcome units from the G5 Sahel to follow different courses but Germany will not accompany local units in operation

 
The French armed forces operations centre's Twitter had published an article (in French) on a door gunner of the RAF Chinook contingent operating ISO Op Barkhane who has completed 9,000 flying hours while deployed in Mali

Something must have been lost in translation as he is described as a "Major" which seems a bit much for a door gunner. Happy to be corrected if it's SOP...and Major Ruffles sounds terrific !
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Master Aircrewman.
 
9000 flying hours ?
Wow. That's a lot of flying.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffrey Gipson, 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron outgoing commander, relinquishes command during the squadron’s change of command ceremony held at Nigerien Air Base 201, Agadez, Niger, July 13, 2021.

View attachment 589543
he must have cashed his unexpected cheque and retired then ?
 
The ID of the 2 ISGS leaders killed by Op Barkhane 2 nights ago have been confirmed as
Issa Al Sahraoui, a tactical commander and Abou Abderrahmane Al Sahraoui an ISGS "judge" known for his tendency to use the death penalty without much restraint.
 
Italy has increased its commitment to TF Takuba.

On top of the MEDEVAC and AH helicopters it will be providing between now and September, a mentoring element in charge of doing AAA with malian forces will deploy to Mali in 2022.

The strength if the Italian contingent will rise to 250.
 

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