In the span of a few weeks, a French Special Operations task force has assaulted three terrorist camps deep in Mali, resulting in the death of scores of Jihadists.

The French Ministry of Defence announced that the first operation took place on December 21. A French Special Operations ground element, supported by Mirage 2000D fighter jets and Tigre attack helicopters, conducted an air assault deep in the Ouagadou forest in a direct action mission. The French located a terrorist camp and killed 33 terrorists, according to the French military.

As the French operators were scouring the camp after the fight and conducting Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE), they were attacked by terrorist reinforcements who had come in technicals and motorcycles. An orbiting MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) took out the terrorist reinforcements though.

Also, during the operation, the French operators rescued two Malian hostages.

The second operation took place on December 30. Again, a heliborne Special Operations assault force conducted an air assault on a terrorist camp, taking out about 10 terrorists and destroying a significant amount of enemy materiel.

Finally, the third operation took place on January 5. Once more, a heliborne Special Operations element raided a terrorist training camp after a pair of Mirage 2000Ds had bombed it. The French operators neutralized about a dozen enemy fighters.

The French have taken a lead on combatting extremism in the Sahel region. The G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger) are festered by terrorists, who aim to export their violent extremism throughout West Africa.