[Updated 11:55 a.m. ET] French Defense Ministry spokesman Thierry Burkhardt says French and Malian forces are now in control of Timbuktu and Gao.
[Posted at 4:30 a.m. ET] French-led troops in Mali have seized control of the airport in Timbuktu from Islamist militants and are fighting their way into the city center, a spokesman for the Malian military said Monday.
Malian and French forces have together been battling the Islamists to loosen their grip on the country's north, which the militants have controlled for months.
The United States has also stepped up its involvement in the conflict by conducting aerial refueling missions on top of the intelligence and airlift support it was providing.
And that would be a permanent solution? great thinking.
Civilians have died in the French assault and it would trigger more violence and continued misery for the populace. Even if the French decide to occupy Mali & make it their colony.
As the Briitish pm predicted, decades of war.
The citizens of mali do not want the extreme version of Islam thqat these militants are espousing.
They are closing schools and terrifying the women who do not completely cover their faces; I don't know what the answer is, but it isn't letting the extremists get their way, either.
Solutions rest in getting to the core@banasy & good morning.
N.Mali is a deprived region, hunger,povert & illiteracy. People struggling for basic needs. Factors which invite & breed extremism.
Where were the French when the impoverished people were hit by drought ?
Solutions rest in getting to the core.
N.Mali is a deprived , impoverished region. People struggling for basic needs. Factors which invite extremism & criminals to reign.
Citizens of N.Mali, an impoverished region want nothing more than a decent life. Deliverance from poverty & hunger.
Factors which invite elements of extremism and criminals.
Extremism that has no answer to poverty and hunger...
Further posts blocked.Will keep trying.
Viva le France
I can no longer write a few lines and hope that CNN lets them thru.
Northern Mali is an extremly rich in natural resources area, not that those resources did the people that live there any good.
Instead all the wealth flies to Europe and intrnational mineral firms and adds to the Capitals dictatorial regimes millions more of US capitalandmilitary sales by its buraucracy and ethnicity in the south.
That is true of the continent @HB.
That is generally true of the Continent@HB.
Where was France when n.Mali was hit by drought & people starved?
Elements of extremism exploit these factors.
Where were these invading forces when N.Mali was hit by drought, people starved & needed real help?
I see a little French still on the board.
My opening comment in French, which any USA schoolboy could have read after his second week of classes, was short-lived. I think that the censors thought my date in July was ten days off.
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