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France’s Macron says success in Sahel enables operational change

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday opened the door to withdrawing some troops from the Sahel area saying that Paris was in a position to regulate its operations after successes over in opposition to Islamist militants and the arrival of extra European forces.

“The temporary reinforcements that I decided to deploy have enabled the Barkhane force to put in great difficulty terrorist groups, which find themselves cornered and reduced to cowardly acts,” Macron stated in his annual New Year’s needs to the army. “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.”

Paris boosted its troop numbers for its Barkhane counter-terrorism operations by 600 in 2020 to five,100 troopers. 

Diplomatic and army sources have stated France was anticipated to announce a withdrawal of an identical quantity by mid-February. 



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