This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- UN Security Council to meet Monday as France expands Mali air strikes
- U.S. provided technical support for France’s failed Somalia rescue attempt
- France on terror alert after challenging al-Qaeda on two fronts
- Israel reaffirms settlement plan after Palestinian protest action
UN Security Council to meet Monday as France expands Mali air strikes
French troops board a transport plane in Chad, bound for Mali (Reuters)
Alarmed by the recent rapid advance of the insurgents into southernMali, France expanded its air strikes deep into Islamist-controlledterritory in northern Mali, pounding the Islamist Ansar Dinestronghold of Gao, forcing the insurgents to flee. France’s foreignminister Laurent Fabius said that the Islamist rebel advance to thecountry’s capital, Bamako, had been halted:
“Stopping the terrorists — it’s done, Today westarted taking care of the terrorists’ rear bases.”
France has deployed more than 400 troops to Mali for training, but notfor combat. Neighboring African countries (Burkina Faso, Niger,Senegal, Togo and Benin) have pledged an additional 800 troops. TheU.S. and Europe will provide logistical support.
U.S. provided technical support for France’s failed Somalia rescue attempt
U.S. troops lent “limited technical support” in France’s bloody andunsuccessful bid in Somalia on Friday to rescue a French intelligenceagent who’d been held hostage for years by al-Shabaab. The rescueattempt was a disaster, as the agent was not rescued, and two Frenchsoldiers were killed in a bloody gun battle. CNN
France on terror alert after challenging al-Qaeda on two fronts
When France’s Socialist president François Hollande announced an earlywithdrawal of France’s troops from Afghanistan, it was thought thatHollande would be an anti-war president. And with the worseningFrench economy, Hollande’s popularity was dropping sharply.
But now, all of a sudden, everyone is shocked to see Hollande launchtwo separate military actions on opposite side’s of Africa: One inMali targeting Ansar Dine, linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb(AQIM), and another one in Somalia targeting al-Shabaab, linked toAl-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). With uncertainobjectives for the Mali operation and a failure in the Somaliaoperation, “Hollande’s war” may backfire on him politically,just as the Libya war backfired on his predecessor,Nicolas Sarkozy.
Having attacked two wings of al-Qaeda in one day, Hollande put Franceon high domestic terror alert on Saturday, fearing a retaliatoryterror attack on French soil. AQAP and AQIM issued a joint ultimatumon Saturday threatening to being killing French hostages until themilitary missions end immediately. Guardian (London) and Debka
Israel reaffirms settlement plan after Palestinian protest action
Palestinian activists in the West Bank adopted a new non-violenttactic on Friday by pitching tents and creating a makeshiftPalestinian protest camp in the contested “E-1” area of the West Bank.After Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas won United Nations GeneralAssembly approval to create a State of Palestine on November 29,Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu retaliated by announcingplans to build 3,000 new settlement homes in the E-1 region. OnSaturday, Netanyahu ordered that the protesters be removed from theE-1 camp, and he reaffirmed plans to build settlements in the region.A number of Western nations have condemned Netanyahu’s announcementbecause 3,000 settlements in this region would permanently divide theWest Bank in such a way that a two-state solution would become almostimpossible. VOA