U.S. has no plans to reduce its support for the French-led military campaign against militants in Mali, U.S. Defence Secretary, James Mattis, said this Tuesday.
Militant attacks in Mali have tripled in the past three years, according to some civil society groups.
The militants have spread from the country’s north to the centre and even targeted Bamako – as in 2015, when gunmen killed twenty people in a raid on the Radisson Blu hotel – as well as Mali’s neighbours.
“We have no intention of cutting back one bit on that support. We will maintain the intelligence support, our logistic support.
‘’And we fully embrace the French mission there as do a number of our other allies,” Mattis said during a news conference with his French counterpart in Paris.
France, which has four thousand and five hundred troops in the region, has been dismayed to see the militants score military and symbolic victories in Mali and beyond in the Sahel while a regional force has struggled to win financing and become fully operational.
Mattis also said that the number of U.S. diplomats in Syria has doubled as Islamic State militants near a military defeat.