Denmark to back France with transport aircraft in Mali

14th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

Denmark said on Monday it would support France's military offensive in Mali by providing a Hercules military transport plane that would help ferry French troops and equipment.

"We will be contributing with a transport aircraft, not soldiers," Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal told reporters following an extraordinary meeting of the Danish parliament's foreign policy committee.

Agreement by the committee needs to be formally sanctioned by parliament, which is expected to rush the decision through on Tuesday.

"The aircraft will probably be able to be dispatched on Tuesday," Defence Minister Nick Haekkerup, who was also present at the meeting, told reporters.

On Monday, Islamist forces based in northern Mali vowed to avenge France for an offensive -- now in its fourth day -- which has inflicted heavy casualties.

France has said its intervention is legitimate under international law and will be limited to helping the Malian army chase out Islamists.

On Monday, French airstrikes targeted the town of Douentza while jihadists again pressed towards the government-held south, taking the town of Diabaly, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of Mabako.

© 2013 AFP

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