French Army has announced airstrikes that destroyed at least 20 pickup trucks in an armed procession that had made its way from Libya deep into neighboring Chad and ignored three days of warning strikes.
A statement says the airstrikes on Tuesday and Wednesday occurred at Chad’s request and in coordination with its army, saying the raid appeared to be aimed at “destabilizing the country.” Chad and France have standing military cooperation that has especially been strengthened by a waging threat from Jihadist in neighboring Nigeria allied to the Islamic State.
The convoy had crossed 400 km (250 miles) of Chadian territory before being halted “between Tibesti and Ennedi” in the northwest. It is important to note that Libya has been a haven for Islamic State in the Sahel region while on the other hand, Chad has been fighting a growing presence of Boko Haram. While it has not been disclosed, it is highly probable that the procession might have members of IS or related extremist group.
France’s president visited Chad in December and reaffirmed support for African anti-extremist forces amid concern about Libya’s chaos. The aircraft are based near Chad’s capital N’Djamena, as part of France’s Operation Barkhane counter-terrorism force in the Sahel.