Amid rising terror threats following the political crisis in Afghanistan, France’s President Emmanuel Macron said that French forces have killed the Islamic State leader in Africa ‘s Greater Sahara region.
Macron tweeted, describing it as another major success in the fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel region.
“The Nation is thinking this evening of all its heroes who died for France in the Sahel in the Serval and Barkhane operations, of the bereaved families, of all of its wounded. Their sacrifice is not in vain. With our African, European and American partners, we will continue this fight,” he tweeted.
The IS leader– Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi – has been responsible for many killings including American soldiers and charity workers.
Meanwhile, concerns have risen over increased terror activities in the African continent, especially in the wake of the situation in Afghanistan.
Not just that. The French military mission — Operation Barkhane—that has been present in the Sahel region since 2013, has also decided to reduce its forces.
The Sahel region comprising a few African countries located more towards the north and north-west parts of Africa, have come together to focus on issues related to economic development. Though the region is one of the richest in terms of natural resources, it is also home to several terror outfits.
The primary aim of the French military mission has been to keep off the Islamic terror outfits and local militant groups that are linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL).
Macron had announced earlier that the current over 5,000-member Barkhane force would be reduced in a phased manner in the Sahel.
Experts said that the political vacuum in Afghanistan which has led to a rapid comeback of the Taliban will only bolster these terror groups in Africa.
Terror activities have been increasing all over Africa.
According to a BBC report in June, “both the Islamic State group and its rivals in al-Qaeda have taken a strategic decision to make Africa their new priority.”
“If chaos, violent extremism and insecurity become the norm in Sahel nations like Mali then we are likely to see two things emerge: firstly, a new geographic base from which jihadists can plot attacks around the world and secondly, an increased flow of migrants and refugees making the perilous journey north to Europe to escape from their own countries,” Frank Gardner, BBC’s security correspondent wrote.