The United States has started transporting French soldiers and equipment to Mali as part of its logistical aid to French forces fighting Islamist militants in the north of the country, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.
Paris has launched a military campaign against Islamist fighters in Mali at the request of the Malian government, amid fears the vast desert country could become a launchpad for international attacks.
“We have started air lifting French army personnel and equipment to Bamako from Istres,” said Benjamin Benson, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).
A Reuters camera crew on Tuesday saw a U.S.-flagged military transport aircraft taking off from the Istres air base in southern France.
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