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Operation Solstice against ISGS. Takuba begins cooperation with Nigeriens

Helicopter assets contributed to Operation Solstice (DICOD / General Staff of the Armed Forces)

(B2) Several executives of the Islamic State in the Great Sahara were neutralized during an intervention led by Barkhane, Takuba and the Nigeriens in June. Two EIGS executives were arrested. The terrorist organization is weakened says the Minister of the Armed Forces. The Europeans begin their cooperation with the Nigerien forces

Operation Solstice: 1 soldiers engaged

French, Nigerians and Europeans

Called 'Solstice', this operation was carried out from June 6 to 20 between Niger and Mali bringing together French, Europeans and Nigeriens. By the ministry’s own admission “ the border remains blurred " in this place. Nearly 300 French and European soldiers as well as 800 Nigeriens have been deployed. between Ouallam in Niger and Ménaka in Mali, to hunt down armed terrorist groups in their sanctuary, around the villages of Akabar, Tabankort and In Araban » we indicate to the General Staff of the Armed Forces. Throughout the operation, they were supported at aerial level by aircraft " Mirage 2000, Tiger helicopters, armed drones ". This operation was coordinated from a command post co-located with that of the Nigerien army in Ouallam.

Committed Swedes and Czechs, alongside Nigerians

According to our information, on the European side, Czechs and Swedes from the Takuba task force intervened. The Europeans, however, intervened without the Malians of the ULRI » which they usually supervise, in accordance with the suspension of operational cooperation decided by the Élysée, an official source told B2. An association that is not accidental. This allows “ to initiate operational cooperation with the Nigerien armed forces, which will be strengthened in the months and years to come ". NB: it is apparently during this operation that Czechs were victims of an IED. No injuries

Violent fights

The ground fighting was “ violent » by the admission of the general staff. A Nigerien soldier has died. While three French soldiers and a Nigerien soldier were injured. They were quickly evacuated by helicopter to the military surgical branches of Ménaka and Gao. Which made it possible to “ save their lives ».

Materials seized

The seizure of numerous resources: thirteen motorcycles, nearly thirty light infantry weapons, around fifty communication devices and even equipment used in the manufacture of explosive devices.

The disorganized EIGS

Executives of the EIGS, the Islamic State in the Great Sahara, were hit in this operation.

Six men neutralized

The operation made it possible to “ neutralize (kill), six adversaries, in particular one of the executives of the EIGS, reputed close to the emir » of the EIGS (Walid al-Sahaouiri), according to the French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly who revealed the information to journalists from the AJD (of which B2 is a member): Almahmoud Al Baye (alias Ikaray), “ leader of the Ménaka combatant group ».

... et two other arrested

More notable, the operation also allowed the capture of “ two lieutenants of the emir of the EIGS “: Daddi Ould Shouaib, better known by his combat diminutive Abou Dardar, and Sidi Ould Ahmed Mohamed, alias Katab el Mauritani. An arrest " from which much is expected in terms of information », Underlines Florence Parly, who however refused to indicate whether or not the two prisoners had been handed over to the Malian authorities.

NB: According to the agreement with the Malians, any person arrested by Barkhane or the Europeans of Takuba must then be transferred to the Malian authorities to be judged and incarcerated (read: The status of forces in Takuba. The text of the SOFA concluded between Paris, Bamako and the European partners). But the deadline is not exactly specified.

Seriously affected EIGS

To this we must add the fact that the number 2 of the EIGS Abdel Akim, close to al-Sahaouiri, “ very media-friendly, known for its extremely strict application of Sharia with local populations "and his cruelty" slaughtering his victims himself ", would " died in May in circumstances not known and which remain to be elucidated ". Paris does not indicate “ cause » of this death. The EIGS, an organization proclaimed enemy number 1 by the French, was “ seriously weakened in recent months » rejoiced Florence Parly. “ The operations carried out were useful and effective. I hope these blows will disorganize the organization. »

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

  1. The Nigerien armed forces were " used in many ways » indicates the army general staff. They led “ autonomous operations in the center and south-east of the area of ​​operation ". Nigerien troops showing a " great fighting value were also integrated into a Desert Tactical Subgroup (SGTD) and the Commando Group (GC) of the Barkhane Force.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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