The Conflict in Mali

Two weeks ago, the French military launched Operation Serval, intervening in a complicated, months-old conflict in northern Mali. A year earlier, Tuareg rebels had attacked government positions throughout northern Mali, temporarily seizing control of a large area and declaring it a new state named Azawad. The rebels soon lost control though, displaced by several Islamist groups, including elements of Al Qaeda, intent on imposing Sharia law in the region and possibly establishing a base for terrorist activity. Those militant groups began pushing south recently, prompting a planned U.N. action, but France felt compelled to act sooner than anticipated, to prevent further damaging gains. More than 2,000 French troops are now involved in Mali, pursuing and attacking anti-government forces from the air and ground, with support from nine other western countries and several neighboring African nations.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Ilya Naymushin / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Atomic Art, Moon Pool, Giant Iceberg

    The Royal Air Force celebrates its centennial in London, World Cup emotions run high, the Running of the Bulls begins in Spain, Tour de France riders pass through stage six, and much more.

  • Kyodo / Reuters

    Photos: Death Toll Reaches 200 in Devastating Japan Floods

    Over the weekend, sustained heavy rainfall hit parts of western and central Japan, causing flash flooding, setting off landslides, and submerging floodplains.

  • Giuseppe Bellini / Getty

    Colors Bloom Across the Great Plain of Castelluccio, Italy

    Fields of lentils and poppies carpet this Italian landscape with a colorful quilt of blossoming flowers every year.

  • Sergei Supinsky / AFP / Getty

    Images From Ivan Kupala Night

    In parts of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and Russia, an ancient pagan rite combined with a traditional Orthodox feast to become Ivan Kupala Night, a festival celebrating the summer solstice.