During counter-terrorist operation in Mali thirteen French soldiers have been killed in a helicopter collision, the French president’s office announced.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “deep sadness” over the biggest single loss of life for the French military since the 1980s.
An investigation has begun into how the two helicopters crashed into each other.
It happened around 19:40 local time (19:40 GMT) on November 25 near the borders of Burkina Faso and Niger where the aircraft were reinforcing ground troops who were pursuing djihadists, the French military explained.
Thousands of French troops have been deployed in Mali in anti-terrorist operaiton Barkhane in Mali.
The launch of the second phase of the battle for Tripoli, has been reported by the local portal Al-Wasat.
The spokesman for the General Command, Major General Ahmad Al-Mismari, announced that “the commander of the western military zone, Major General Idris Madi, is heading a large force from the city of Zintan under the Tripoli liberation operations room and has received his combat mission.”
At the moment the Libyan National Army has begun to form additional combat units. This happened after fixing on the western theater of operations, according to the representative of the armed association Ahmed al-Mismari,
He also added that that the LNA Air Force did not perform any flights on April 22. According to al-Mismari, the forces of the Libyan army were seen above the LNA airbase.
Earlier it became known that the capital of Libya was subjected to rocket fire. According to a number of media outlets, the strikes were inflicted by the forces under the leadership of Khalifa Haftar, however, LNA representatives denied this information.
Libyan Marshal Khalifa Haftar troops took control over Tripoli Airport, Al-Arabiya TV channel reports, quoting a relevant press-release, issued by the Commander. (Image above: illustration).
The march on the capital has been announced as an counter-terrorist operation, which will be ongoing until the terrorists are “eliminated”, the Commander explained to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Marshal Haftar march on Libyan capital is endorsed by Tobruk Parliament, the document is available in Arabic language.
“I leave Libya with a heavy heart and deeply concerned. I still hope it is possible to avoid a bloody confrontation in and around Tripoli. The UN is committed to facilitating a political solution and, whatever happens, the UN is committed to supporting the Libyan people” wrote the Antonio Guterres in his Twitter micro blog. The message came after his visit to Libya for meeting with eastern commander Khalifa Haftar who has declared his troops are marching on the capital Tripoli in an counter-terrorist operation, supported by Tobruk Parliament. Marshal Khalifa Haftar told UN Secretary General that counter-terrorist operation will continue until complete ‘elimination of terrorism‘, Al-Arabiya TV reported.
At present there are conflicting reports about an ongoing offensive in Tripoli area.
The same pan-Arab channel reported Marshal Haftar troops “took control ” of Suq al-Khamis village some 40 km south of Tripoli, further they moved took over Ben-Hashir, a town 34 km from Tripoli, and now there are heading the airport.
Image above: illustration.
Niger governmental troops have eliminated more than 280 Boko Haram militants in combat and in air strikes since an operation against the radical Islam group last week, the defence ministry said.
Boko Haram has intruded Niger, Chad and Cameroon from its base in northeast Nigeria, where it has been fighting for more than nine years to establish a religious Islamic state – Caliphate.
The defence ministry informed that the army mounted an intense operation against the militants in the end of 2018 along the Komadugu river, which separates Niger from Nigeria.
More than 200 militants were “neutralized” by air strikes and 87 were killed by Nigerien troops in combat it said.
Italian police arrested five Maghrebins as part of a major operation against suspected supporters of Islamist terrorism in central and southern Italy. Previously a teacher, indoctrinating children with martyrdom ideology was also arrested in counter-terrorism operation.
“A vast anti-terrorism operation” was being carried out by special investigation forces based in Rome and region, namely in the nearby town of Latina, police said in a statement.
The five Tunisians detained are suspected of being part of a broader network connected to Anis Amri, the other migrant from Tunis who killed 12 people when he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin (2016).
Amri was shot dead by Italian police near Milan four days after the Berlin attack.
Numerous African states seek to pursue military and technical cooperation with Russia and purchase new generation of weapon systems, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Africa Department Andrei Kemarsky told TASS news agency.
“The armed forces of many African countries were established in the Soviet period with the active support of our country. The armament and military hardware they operate are of Soviet or Russian origin. In this regard, they objectively retain interested in maintaining this hardware in an operational state, renewing it and acquiring some new weapon systems,” the Russian diplomat said.
“Besides the African countries view the development of cooperation in the military and technical sphere as an instrument of ensuring their sovereignty, independence and countering the pressure of Western countries and providing security, including amid the struggle against terrorism challenges,” Kemarsky continued.
“The threat of terrorism in some African regions has been at intensified, also as a result of the Western countries’ military intervention in Libya, from which radical ideas, extremism and terrorism are spreading today, first of all, to the Sahara-Sahel region,” Russian diplomat added.