A statement by its regional force said air and ground forces were involved. It did not identify the militant group.
A French soldier was killed in the area earlier this month.
Mali suffers frequent attacks by Islamist militants despite a French military operation in 2013 to drive jihadists from northern cities.
A French military spokesman said the militants had been targeted in the Foulsare forest, in the south-west of Gao province.
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Featured image courtesy of AFP