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France to send extra 600 troops to fight Sahel extremists

France to send extra 600 troops to fight Sahel extremists

France’s Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly announced that France will deploy 600 additional soldiers in the African Sahel region, San Francisco Chronicle reports.

France is ready to support the Sahel states in their fight with extremists, said minister Parly. Under current circumstances, raising the number of French troops there to 5,100 looks logical and in-timely, the French defence minister said Sunday.

According to the official statement released by the defence minister, most of the reinforcements to the Barkhane force will be deployed in the three borders zone between the African countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

“Another part of these reinforcements will be directly engaged within the G5 Sahel forces to accompany them in combat,” Parly added.

Currently, G5 Sahel brings together Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

The French defence minister reiterated that Chad “should soon deploy an additional battalion” within the joint force of the G5 Sahel in the three borders zone. Over six years, it’s the epicentre of the fight against jihadist groups, including Islamic State in the Grand Sahara (ISIS-GS).

As the French defence minister stressed, the upcoming reinforcement should allow France and its allies to increase the pressure against the ISIS-GS. Mrs Parly added that French troops will leave no space for those who want to destabilize the fragile Sahel region.

French President Macron and all five leaders of the Sahel group launched a new plan to fight jihadists on Jan. 13 in the frame of the Barkhane operation.