France seeking to withdraw ‘some troops’ from Sahel anti-terror operations

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France is eyeing at withdrawing a few of its troops from the Sahel area in Africa, following successes in opposition to Islamist militants and help by European forces, President Emmanuel Macron stated on Tuesday.
“The results obtained by our forces in the Sahel, combined with the greater intervention of our European partners, will allow us to adjust our effort,” Macron stated whereas addressing army officers in his conventional New Year’s message, Reuters reported.
Last yr, France despatched 600 further troops to the Sahel area to hitch its Barkhane counter-terrorism forces, bringing the overall quantity to five,100 troopers. Diplomatic sources advised the information company that Paris is predicted to announce a partial withdrawal by mid-February. 
Macron and regional heads of state will focus on the matter in the course of the subsequent G5 Sahel summit scheduled for mid-February in Chad. 
Despite the elevated efforts and the constructive outcomes that Paris praised, the state of affairs within the area stays fragile, as 5 French troopers have been killed whereas on “an intelligence mission” in Mali for the reason that starting of the yr, whereas four UN peacekeepers had been killed final week. The al-Qaeda-linked Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) claimed accountability for the primary assault, in an announcement launched by its propaganda platform, Al-Zallaqa.