PARIS: A top French military official says the country is moving troops toward the Libyan border within weeks and, along with U.S. intelligence, is monitoring Al-Qaeda arms shipments to Africa’s Sahel region.
A French base will go up within weeks in a desert outpost just a hundred kilometers (60 miles) from the lawless Libyan border region overrun by Islamic militants, the official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
U.S. intelligence is helping French troops “a lot,” he said.
Earlier this month, French troops destroyed an arms convoy in northern Niger carrying three tons of weapons from Libya to Mali.
France has 3,000 troops, 200 armored vehicles and six fighter jets deployed in the Sahel region.