Terrorism: the Sahel Army steps up against the jihad

Mali, Algeria, Tunisia and Niger join their elite forces

28 October, 19:00

    (by Diego Minuti) (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, OCTOBER 28 - Tunisia, Algeria, Mali and Niger have jointly deployed 8,000 troops along their borders to fight the jihadist insurgency in the region.

    The Sahel Army, as an Algerian daily has dubbed it, is made up of elite units from each country's army and police, and shores up the view of countries in the region - such as Algeria - who believe the jihadist guerrilla must be fought collectively or not at all.

    Participating countries have stepped up their efforts to fight organized Islamic terrorism after several simultaneous attacks in geographically distant locations in Tunisia, recently exacted a high cost in terms of human lives.

    These well-organized attacks also showed an ambitious jihadist insurgency has taken the field, bringing war-toughened foreign militias in to bear on young Tunisians with a lot of fanaticism but little training: the fact that one of the terrorists killed by security forces in Sidi Ali Ben Aoun after a deadly jihadist attack on National Guardsmen was Algerian confirms that the jihad sees the border area as a single battlefield.

    The Sahel Army is carrying out the most important anti-terrorist offensive in the region since the French-African operation in northern Mali. Algeria, which has been fighting the jihad for more than 20 years, will most probably be the leader, passing its expertise on to countries with less know-how in terms of terrorist counter-insurgency.

    It is also the country that is adding to its arsenal, sending it deputy defense minister and chief of staff, Ahmed Gaid Sallah, to Russia for a possible weapons deal. (ANSAmed).

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