The French army announced the use of a reaper drone against Malian jihadist group

The French army announced that it had carried out for the first time, on Saturday, December 21, an operation using a Reaper drone, in

central Mali. The soldiers of the Barkhane force put a total of 40 jihadists “out of action”.

French Reaper drones have fulfilled their first mission. According to a press release published on Monday by the French general staff, “on

the day of December 21, continuing the opportunity action launched the previous night against a large group of terrorist fighters, Operation

Barkhane neutralized 7 additional terrorists ”in the Ouagadou forest (150 kilometers north-west of Mopti), the area of ​​evolution of the katiba

Macina led by the Fulani radical preacher Amadou Koufa.

“While the commandos engaged in this operation were searching the combat zone, they were attacked by a group of terrorists who

infiltrated on motorcycles,” said the general staff. “The shots were delivered by a Reaper drone and a Mirage 2000 patrol.

This attack is the first carried out in operation by an armed drone,” he said, confirming information published by the specialized blog Le

Mamouth. President Emmanuel Macron announced on Saturday in Abidjan that 33 “terrorists” had been “neutralized” by the French army

in the Mopti region of Mali. A source close to the Elysee Palace was killed. In total, 40 jihadists were therefore eliminated this weekend.

Two Malian gendarmes released

This operation in central Mali also enabled the release of two Malian gendarmes held hostage and the seizure of several motorcycles,

armed vehicles and a large volume of armaments, said the French army. It said on Thursday that it had finished testing the weapons of

these Reaper drones remotely piloted, of which it has three copies at the Niamey air base, in Niger.

France had previously announced that it had “neutralized” 25 jihadists during two separate operations in the Sahel in December. This

series of operations comes just under a month after the death of 13 French soldiers in a collision between two helicopters during a combat

operation in the Liptako, in the Ménaka region, on the borders of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. Recall that the Barkhane regularly carries

out attacks against armed groups, including the Islamic State Grand Sahara (EIGS) group.

By Subiru Madina