Correspondent in Paris
The French special forces have “neutralized” in an imprecise part of the Sahel, between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, to Adnan Abou Walid Al-Sahraoui, leader of the Islamic State of the Greater Sahara (EIGE), one of the most dangerous terrorist / jihadist gangs that have grown in recent years in the immense Saharan area of the Sahel.
“Neutralized” is the elliptical word used to designate what iss targeted killings of terrorists or characters threatening the security of the State.
Emmanuel Macron he personally gave the news shortly before one in the morning on Thursday, through his official Twitter account, commenting: “This is a major triumph of our fight against the terrorist groups in the Sahel.”
Minutes later, Florence Parly, Minister of Defense, gave the first concrete precision of the selective assassination of the EIGE leader: “Adnan Abou Walid Al-Sahraoui has died after an attack by our ‘Barkhane’ force. This is a decisive blow against a terrorist group. ‘
From August 1, 2014, until last summer, the ‘Barkhane’ operation had as a strategic mission to combat Islamic terrorism in the gigantic desert area of the Sahel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, where they operate at least six terrorist groups Islamists, threatening to destabilize five states, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.
Fin de ‘Barkhane’
Emmanuel Macron announced the end of ‘Barkhane’ last June. The 5,000 French soldiers who have participated in this operation must partially withdraw, to take on new tasks of a bilateral nature, between France and the States of the region. For months, it was planned that ‘Barkhane’ would be replaced, “gradually”, by ‘Takuba’, a force that should be made up of special units from various member countries of the European Union (EU).
Macron ordered the selective assassination of the EIGE leader, in the framework of the fight against the most urgent terrorist threats, after the fall of Afghanistan.
France has considered, for years, that the Sahel area where the ‘Barkhane’ soldiers have been operating, among the States Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad, it is a strategic buffer zone to contain and combat the Islamist gangs operating in that region.
Emmanuel Macron has tried with very relative success a more important commitment from all the European allies, insisting on another strategic factor: the growing implementation of Russia in that region, where some national and local leaders are tempted to turn to Russian mercenaries. Macron has warned that he considers the increase in the Russian presence undesirable.