Al Qaeda’s branch in Mali attacked a UN base earlier today, killing at least ten peacekeepers from Chad. The group says that the assault was part of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s global campaign, which rejects the “normalization” of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also visited Chad today.
Rising communal violence in both northern and central Mali further weakens the already fragile state, which in turn, further helps jihadists exploit these problems for their own gain.
JNIM claims the brazen assault was in retaliation for the death of several of its commanders and fighters in recent French raids.
Pro-Houthi media outlets like Yemen News Agency (SABA) reported that at least three types of projectiles were fired into the Kingdom. They include the Burkan-2H, the Qaher-2M, and the Badr-1. Both the Burkan and the Qaher have been used multiple times in the Yemeni theater, while the Badr was only unveiled last week.
At the strategic level, if Iran’s provision of ballistic missiles to the Houthi rebels is confirmed, it could be seen as an indicator Tehran’s increased tolerance for risk in a distant conflict theater, one which has sought to weaken Saudi Arabia by any means possible.
These assaults serve as a reminder of al Qaeda’s vast capabilities to strike across the region. This comes even with both a French counter-terrorism operation and a UN peacekeeping operation in Mali. Al Qaeda’s operational capacity in Mali and the wider West African region has largely remained intact.
After almost one month of media silence, al Qaeda’s JNIM returns to social media to claim responsibility for a complex assault on UN forces near the northern Malian city of Kidal.