According to the French government, only one of its more than three thousand deployed troops has been killed during its offensive in Mali. The same can’t be said for the jihadist invaders, whom the French government estimates have suffered casualties in the hundreds. France also reports that Malian forces have several high-value and high-ranking militant leaders in their possession, which could prove to be a boon to intelligence services looking to combat Jihadists in other places. All prisoners will likely have to answer to Malian courts for their crimes.
After seizing the last major militant stronghold of Kidal, the French government has expressed confidence in its mission by giving a tentative date of March for withdrawal.
France came to the aid of the Malian people in January, when it was feared that the newly entrenched and al-Qaeda affiliated militant islamists were going to march on the capital city of Bamako. The jihadist operation in Mali has looked something like a suicide mission from the start, with thousands of fighters migrating to the African nation in an ill-conceived plan to stakeout a large swath of the desert for themselves. A slightly less ambitious plan may have festered for quite a while, but the militant’s designs on the Malian capital left western nations no choice but to plan a decisive military action.