The taking of Tessalit airfield in Mali: air assault as seen from the camera of a Harfang drone

Feb 09 2013 - 2 Comments

Early in the morning of Feb. 08, the French special forces parachuted into Tessalit, located about 30 miles from the Algerian border, in northern Mali.

Tessalit represents the northernmost location reached so far by the French troops involved in Operation Serval, particularly important for future operations against rebels positions in the Adrar region.

Harfang camera

The paratroopers seized the runway for the arrival of a C-160 Transall airlifter that carried special forces: 50 military of the 1er PCR (Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes – Parachute Chasseur Regiment) secured the airport and launched the first patrols to ensure control of the city.

The first contingent was later strenghtened by an armoured convoy of the 1er RIMA (Régiment d’Infanterie de Marine  – 1st Marine Infantry Regiment) that travelled for 500 kilometers to join the first elements in Tessalit.

The operation, supported by combat choppers and jets, was once again filmed by a Harfang drone involved in an ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) mission.

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