In August, a French counterterrorism operation in northern Mali killed the leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), avenging four U.S. troops who were killed in Niger in 2017.

French President Emanuel Macron revealed in September that a French drone strike killed Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the ISGS leader, while a French special-operations ground force stormed the terrorist camp in which al-Sahrawi was hiding.

The elimination of such a high-value target highlights the quiet but intense war being waged in Africa against terrorist groups. Several European countries the U.S. have contributed to the fight, but it’s France that has taken the lead.