"The militants left their fortified positions in northern Mali after blows air force, and now we have a rather advantageous position to attack," – said the Minister of Defence of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian. According to Le Drian, French paratroopers will be supported by the army of Mali, African military also contract to the north. "Military operations will continue as long as necessary", – the Minister added.
Chief of Staff of the French troops, Admiral Edward Gillot previously reported that the fight against Islamists entirely by air does not work, because the insurgents use civilians as "human shields." In this case, the Admiral promised French military will not fire if the threat will emerge the deaths of civilians.
France on Monday announced an increase in its military contingent in Mali from 800 thousand to 2.5 thousand people. Paris also notified the Russian representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin, the start of ground operations.
Initially it was assumed that the main role in the fight against the Islamists take over the armed forces of neighboring African states of Mali, and the French will coordinate their actions. However, in practice it turned out that France led military operation.
Only the intention to provide military assistance to Mali have 13 states. U.S. provides intelligence, Britain has for delivering needed supplies, and other countries – Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Niger, Ivory Coast, Togo, Senegal and Burkina Faso – so far only promised to send to fight the Islamists of their soldiers.