French air strikes not stopping Islamic supremacist advance on Mali capital

As AFP reported yesterday, “The French officials believe the Islamists obtained many of their weapons during last year’s unrest, when arms were delivered to rebels fighting to overthrow Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi.” Those weapons came from the U.S. and its allies.

“Northern Mali Islamic militants seem to press advance on capital as France steps up air strikes,” from CBS News, January 14:

BAMAKO, Mali French military forces on Monday widened their bombing campaign against Islamic extremists occupying northern Mali, launching air strikes for the first time in central Mali to combat a new threat as the four-day-old offensive continued to grow.

Early Monday, an intelligence agent confirmed that shots rang out near the Diabaly military camp in what is still nominally government-held territory, and that soon after, jets were heard overhead, followed by explosions. The agent insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

A Malian commander in the nearby town of Niono said the bombardments did not stop the Islamist fighters and that they occupied Alatona, and on Monday, they succeeded in reaching the north-south road which connects Diabaly to Segou, the administrative capital of central Mali.

By sweeping in from the west the al Qaeda-linked insurgents are now only 250 miles from Mali’s capital, Bamako. Before France sent its forces in on Friday to stop a rebel advance, the closest known spot the Islamists were to the capital was 420 miles away, though they might have infiltrated closer than that.

Since seizing control of Mali’s upper half, the extremists have imposed an austere form of Islam, foreign to the people of Mali, who have long practiced a moderate religion. They have cut off the hands and feet of thieves, in public spectacles that have left outdoor squares awash in blood. Women live with increasingly less freedom, and are required to fully cover themselves. They have been flogged and whipped for offenses ranging from wearing eyeshadow or perfume, to not covering their hands.

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France surprised by fighting strength of Mali Islamic supremacists
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Comments

  1. says

    “Since seizing control of Mali’s upper half, the extremists have imposed an austere form of Islam, foreign to the people of Mali, who have long practiced a moderate religion.”

    There is only one Islam, as dda has pointed out several times recently.

    That being the case, these people are lucky they weren’t just murdered for apostasy.

  2. says

    I had the same quote Aardvark posted:

    “…extremists have imposed an austere form of Islam, foreign to the people of Mali, who have long practiced a moderate religion.”

    I just ain’t buyin’ that meme anymore. I need a lot more solid data to prove that prior to this latest jihad Mali predominantly practiced a “moderate” Islam. A glibly breezy parenthetical (but oh so carefully placed) claim by some mainstream news reporter ain’t gonna cut it for me no mo’.

  3. says

    The French have a proven track record when it comes to fighting wars. No one surrenders or collaborates better than a Frenchmen. Without even being asked they paid the germans a jizya of 78,000 Jews just to ingratiate themselves with their new masters. I’m sure there are plenty good, G_d fearing French who would gladly round up many more than that to keep from being converted to islam at the tip of a sword. Come to think of it, converting people at the tip of a sword was something else where the french exceled.