Air Force Aids French in Mali

As of Tuesday, the Air Force had flown five C-17 sorties into Mali in support of French-led military operations there against al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, said Pentagon Press Secretary George Little. Those flights brought in about 80 French troops and more than 124 tons of supplies and equipment, he told reporters in the Pentagon. Little said the United States has “moved quickly to provide intelligence and airlift” to the French and other nations combating the terrorists in Mali and would “continue providing” that support. “We commend the French for their actions in Mali to confront an extremist threat in that country,” he said. “We stand by our French allies and will … continue to work with [them] to determine what their future needs might be,” he added. He called the ongoing operations in Mali “truly an international effort.” Little also said the United States was supporting the Algerian government by evacuating wounded Americans and foreign nationals from the recent terrorist attacks at a natural gas plant in Algeria to Germany and Italy on C-130s and C-17s. (AFPS report on Mali by Amaani Lyle and Lyle report on Algeria)