France boosts fight against jihadists in Sahel

France is boosting its military presence in the Sahel with an additional 600 troops to fight jihadists.

This will add to its already 4,500-strong military presence in Mali and four other countries in the region, says AFP. = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

France and nations from the G5 already agreed to step up military co-operation to fight the jihadists. They met on Jan 13 and decided to put all forces under one umbrella.

Their focus will be to fight-off the Islamic State in the region.

France will also send around 100 armoured vehicles to the region, AFP says.

In November, France lost 13 of its troops in a deadly air collision.

On Jan 31, jihadists in the Sahel say they are pledging allegiance to the IS.

A short video uploaded online appears to show jihadists in Mali pledging allegiance to IS.

They say they will follow the leadership of Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Qurayshi, the newly appointed leader of the Islamic State.

Long War Journal says IS continues to grow in the Sahel. “It is possible that it will be able to attract more fighters from al Qaeda’s camp,” it says.

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