Months after killing four US Special Forces soldiers, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has been designated as a terrorist group by the US government. Its leader, Abu Walid al Sahrawi, was also designated today.
Intercommunal eye for an eye killings have been increasing in the past week with dozens of Tuaregs and Fulani being killed on both sides of the Mali-Niger border. The massacres come in the backdrop of ongoing counterterrorism operations against the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.
Today’s claims of responsibility are the first for the group in Burkina Faso since 2016.
French special forces took part in a large-scale joint operation with Malian and Nigerien troops, alongside Tuareg militias, against militants of the so-called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara on April 1.
Sunday’s clashes between the Tuarag alliance and Islamic State-loyal militants in northern Mali is the first since early last month.
The Tuareg alliance says the vehicle, which was reportedly used by US troops in last October’s deadly ambush in Niger, was recovered after recent raids on Islamic State-loyal militants in northern Mali.
The recent battle comes less two weeks after the Tuareg militias last clashed with militants from the so-called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.
At least 276 attacks in Mali and its neighboring countries were linked al Qaeda in 2017. This includes a significant shift of violence to central Mali, as well as northern Burkina Faso.