British soldiers are set to be deployed to the war-torn country of Mali. They will join the United Nations peacekeeping operation in the country as part of an effort to combat insurgent Islamist forces.

Until now, British soldiers have only assisted in training operations: Roughly 30 Army soldiers and Royal Marines have been working in Senegal training special forces from across West Africa.

But later this year an additional 250 troops will be sent to Mali to face the insurgents head-on and participate in reconnaissance missions in jihadi-controlled areas.

This will likely be the United Kingdom’s most dangerous deployment since it withdrew its combat forces from Helmand Province, Afghanistan.