Report: US offers drones to aid West Africa terror fight
France launches assault in Mali
- Duration 5:48
- Date Jan 14, 2013
France launches assault in Mali
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The US is joining another fight against terrorists in Africa according to the reporting of the Associated Press.
The American government is offering drones to help the growing fight against al-Qaeda affiliates insurgents.
The State Department has not confirm this to us but here's the back story.
On Friday the French military unleashed to deadly ground and air assault again is against Islamist militants.
In the nation of Mali.
Those rebels control now the northern part of the country and investigators say many of them have ties to al-Qaeda.
Including what the US is called the strongest and best funded factor -- should -- faction of the terror group.
Fox News has confirmed the Pentagon is also considering sending it sending cargo aircraft.
Providing fueling takers for French air patrols.
And offering intelligence from aerial surveillance.
That's where drones -- into the picture for some context of the central.
Bank of west African states reports that Molly is one of the poorest countries in all the world.
The average worker's annual set salary is the equivalent of 15100 US dollars.
The -- fox -- correspondent Jonathan Hunt is here this this is growing.
Very concerning why is there's so much concern from France.
And the United States this -- come on relatively quickly.
It has come on very quickly -- and but a lot of us -- be that familiar with this north West African nation -- But it here it is in a nutshell there is a major concern now.
Among western powers that Molly over the next few years as might become exactly -- Afghanistan laws in the 1990s.
A nation that is controlled and run by hardline islamists a nation that provides safe haven and training grads for al-Qaeda.
And a nation from which.
Al-Qaeda -- -- and executes attacks against western targets his Victorian -- that the State Department listen.
I think we are all well aware of the requirement to be vigilant about our own security including in the homeland.
But that's lying it's so important to get this operation done and get it done right because they have.
Been able to develop.
Another safe haven across across that region that needs to be around it now.
Now the French are leading the fight he had that is because they have long time.
-- used to that area.
All of northern Africa.
That is why they -- in Libya that's what we're seeing here but the US we're hearing may provide logistical sport Canada and Britain already doing so it really looks likely -- the islamists are gaining some ground here though -- this is the all things -- the French have launched a major ad campaign just over the last few days.
Fighter jets and helicopters and yet.
The rebels now.
Something like 200 miles closer.
To the capital of that country.
Than they were.
Big fall the French campaign -- -- So there is growing concern that these islamists really off in a position to take over a country where the government is very weakened the Molly and military.
-- existence that's why there is this sudden concern now.
Action on the part of many western nations is a UN Security Council meeting just about this.
-- taking place right about now -- out on fixes that.
Not yet biblical that Jonathan Hunt thank you with us now the former intelligence officer Mike -- currently the CEO of security consulting -- -- innovations -- afternoon.
They -- so here we go again is this is bigger mess is is they're portraying it.
Well this one actually is pretty significant so one of the -- things here that people are gonna wanna say because it makes sort of our Libyan operations look bad but what we're talking about here is highly trained battle hard and Islamist who are now very well armed also.
So reports are that they shot down one of the French helicopters over the weekend for example they have shoulder fired rockets.
The are actually now cascading across -- militants in that part of the world across North Africa and this is probably the first of several places where we're gonna see this pop up.
-- coming out of Syria.
What they're coming out of Libya originally but -- -- it it's the same kind of groups that have been an Iraq across Syria across Libya.
So that the same sub state groups are migrating from conflict to conflict they -- pretty tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan for a period but now that those two conflicts are slowing down.
Did these guys are more battle hardened in -- moving left and right sort of to -- every -- they see the fight as sort of the fight of the month.
So so the thinking is that -- the fear is that they would go in their set of training camps and and use that area as a sort of base to attack western interests.
-- -- to -- one is exactly that it becomes a safe haven in the northern part of the country.
The other series that is sort of sets did the vanguard of an Islamic takeover of that whole region and there's an -- -- -- sort of so CIA term for this whole region called the arc of instability.
And what we've really done -- the last few years as we've taken this arc of instability.
We've made sure that the people there are better at fighting and now better armed because of the stockpiles of weapons of they've been able to come across.
Following the you know the so called Arab Spring.
-- in the -- here the French.
Well I know it's sort of -- spends most American sensibilities but in fact you know the French have very long historical ties in this part of the region.
And frankly they're the ones most at risk because the -- ends -- because being a former power.
They can come into France much more easily so the Homeland Security threat and France but then of course all spread throughout all of Europe is primarily a French one.
You shoot down a number of French aircrafts.
And and then the people of France or -- the history says it's not gonna sit well with a -- no -- -- course one of the things and as as I think you're alluding to you know they really don't have nearly as much restraint as we have tried to have.
What were overseas fighting them in Algeria some of these other conflicts historically been very very bloody.
Moved my spirit with us from Washington stay on this -- for sure Mike thanks.