International backing for French forces battling Islamist militants in Mali gathered momentum Tuesday
The U.S. mission began Monday with two flights and is expected to continue for several days, U.S. Africa Command spokesman Chuck Prichard told CNN from Stuttgart.
U.S. C-17 planes are taking off from southern France loaded with French cargo and dropping it off in the Malian capital, Bamako, he said...
Italy's lower house of parliament approved sending 15 to 24 military instructors who will work alongside the European Union in training Malian forces. It also agreed to provide logistical support to include at least two cargo planes. The time frame for Italy to provide the assistance is not yet decided.
Leaders from several other countries have already offered troops or logistical support. Canada and Britain are deploying military transport aircraft, while Nigeria is set to deploy soldiers as part of the U.N.-mandated African force to fight the insurgents.
Meanwhile, the battle continues to push back rebel forces on the ground.
On the road between Segou and Bamako on Tuesday, a CNN crew saw a large column of French mechanized infantry barreling toward northern Mali.
Dozens of armored fighting vehicles packed with supplies appeared headed for the front line of the battle against Islamist fighters
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