Spain to send troops to Mali

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© Thomas Goisque Wikimedia
French troops in Niger.

DESPITE denials by Spanish government sources to rumours circulating in the week following the Paris massacres, the French Defence Minister, Jean Yves Le Drian confirmed in a radio interview on November 22 that Spanish troops will be sent to Mali to allow French troops to return to France for deployment against ISIS.

There are at least 3,000 French troops in five different African countries employed ostensibly as a peace keeping force as well as targeting Islamist insurgents within those countries, the most prominent being Mali, although Boko Haram suicide bombers have been active recently in the Cameroons.

All five countries are former French colonies and the French were invited in to assist the legitimate governments to resist Islamic insurgents from various groups, but now they are needed elsewhere and as the Spanish have indicated they will not use their air force against ISIS in North Africa, their presence will at least release the French troops who have the experience of dealing with terrorists on the ground.

It is also reported that the Irish government may also assist in supplying troops in order to release additional French resources.

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