French Officials Predict Mali Intervention Will be Over Within Weeks

Don't want their own Afghanistan


French jets launched airstrikes against Islamist rebels in Mali for the fourth straight day on Monday, as part of an intervention aimed at destroying the fighting capabilities of the insurgents. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France's military involvement in Mali, which the West African country's government requested, would be wrapped up in "a matter of weeks." "We have no intention of staying forever," Fabius said. But rebels of the al-Qaeda-linked Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa warned that the government of French President Francois Hollande would pay dearly, and for a long time to come, for its decision to wade into the fight. "France has opened the gates of hell for all the French," said Oumar Ould Hamaha, a spokesman for the insurgents. Is France helping to squelch a budding terrorist threat, or is it merely making itself a target?