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Last Update: 3 Hour and 16 Minute ago
News code: 20237
Published Date: Sunday 20 January 2013 - 11:42:26
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Behind France military offensive against Mali

World  - French military forces have launched an attack on radical Islamic rebels of Mali who have been deployed in the northern part of the country since Friday.

During a speech broadcast on TV, French President Francois Hollande officially ordered the assault which as he said is aimed to struggle against terrorism and preventing the AlQaeda-linked rebelsfrom seizing the southern part of Mali and toppling the government. The operation of the French army was immediately backed by the U.S., the U.K and other European countries. Now the question is what will be the pros and cons of such military initiative for France and Europe which are passing the worst days of the ongoing economy crisis. Observing the issue, Khabar Online held an interview with Pirouz Izadi, an Iranian analyst of European affairs as follows:
At the beginning, please tell us about the nature and urgency of France's military offensive, deployment of forces to Mali.
Earlier, the northern region of Mali was occupied by the Islamic extremist groups which have also posed a threat against the southern part of the country whose occupation would lead to the collapse of the Malian government.
As the former colonizer of that country which is supposed to play a key role in the international scene, and regarding its power and traditional influence in Africa, France was felt tasked with launching a military attack to Mali which is permissible from some aspects:
First, such operation is carried out within the framework of struggle against terrorism and Al Qaeda which is approved by the majority of political factions in France even the right-wingers (Hollande's political rivals).
Second, in the condition that many domestic policies adopted by Hollande are under question, such a move will form a consensus in foreign policy and will strengthen the position of the president.
Third, if the Malian government had been toppled by the Islamist extremist groups, based on Domino Theory the neighboring countries of Mali (which were mostly former French colonies) could be impressed by such developments and prepare the ground for other Islamic extremist groups in those countries to pick out the same initiative, which would undoubtedly threaten the vast trade relations and investments of France in this region.
Finally the empowerment and influence of Al Qaeda could lead the Muslim society of Franceto more radical stances.
So, the advantages of this military offensive are more than its disadvantages.
Yes, moreover France is simply launching airstrikes against the rebels which would have minimum casualties of war for example in comparison with Afghanistan, where more than 80 French armed forces were killed.
Currently, the European economy is in a critical condition. Is the new military operation justifiable in economic terms?
It should be noted that if France as the aid and ally of African countries had rejected the request of Mali and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), its political future in the region would be in endangered as those countries could not count on France as a reliable ally anymore. On the other hand, there are limited regions in the world where France can have an influence and Africa stands at above them.
After France's military offensive, Al Qaeda threatened the French government and people of terrorists attacks. What do you think about the consequences of that warning?
Within the society of Muslim settlers in France are persons who are potentiality ready to be recruited by extremist groups. Due to the frustrations and discrimination they have experienced,they are good targets for Al Qaeda. However, executing terrorist plans in European countries depend on the operational ability of terrorists and security measures taken by Europeans. One cannot say for sure that Al Qaeda would be able to hit them. Although, it is potentially able to do so.

Translated By: Ali Anmeri

News Code: 20237
Published Date: Sunday 20 January 2013 - 11:42:26
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