On Saturday, March 2, at noon, Chadian armed forces operating in northern Mali completely destroyed a terrorist base. …The toll included several dead terrorists, including their leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar.A statement from the Chadian armed forces • Announcing the killing of Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an al-Qaeda commander who claimed responsibility for masterminding a lethal hostage situation at an Algerian gas plant in January. Chad’s President Idriss Deby also announced Friday that his forces had killed Adelhamid Abou Zeid, another prominent al-Qaeda commander, in the same area as the attack that killed Belmokhtar. The French, who launched jet strikes on mountain regions in Northern Mali believed to house bases for Islamic militants, have not yet confirmed the deaths of either Belmokhtar or Abou Zeid. source
This is the final phase of the process since it is in that massif [the Ifoghas mountains] that AQIM forces have probably regrouped. Our Chadian friends launched an attack yesterday which was very harsh with significant loss of life. I want to praise what the Chadians are doing.French President Francois Hollande • Speaking on his nation’s military collaboration, along with African forces, against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a militant group in Mali now waging a weakening insurgency in the country’s far north. The group had claimed control of broad swaths of northern Mali in 2012, causing the government to request international military help, which Hollande and France (Mali was a French colony until 1960) have provided in the form of 4,000 soldiers deployed. And lest you think there’s a military operation of this sort the United States isn’t involved in, predator drones have been offered to the effort as well, which U.S. officials claim will be used to glean deployment information. source
They (Algerians) are likely to feel vindicated, and to reject any criticism for their reaction to a domestic crisis they feel were brought about by Western actions they advised against.Geoff Porter of North Africa Risk Consulting • Discussing the current situation with the Algerian hostage crisis, which ended violently and has featured wildly varying reports regarding death toll. Porter is referring to Algerian officials’ position that Western officials should not have intervened in the region. The hostage situation took place at a natural gas complex deep in the Sahara desert, and hostages were of numerous nationalities, including American.