Al-Qaida and ISIS Turn On Each Other in the Sahel, With Civilians in the Crossfire

Malian soldiers, working with French forces, battle jihadist insurgents in Gao, Mali, Feb. 21, 2013 (AP photo).
Malian soldiers, working with French forces, battle jihadist insurgents in Gao, Mali, Feb. 21, 2013 (AP photo).

France announced earlier this month that its armed forces had killed Abdelmalek Droukdel, the emir of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, during a June 3 military operation in northern Mali. The operation, carried out by French troops with the help of intelligence and surveillance aircraft provided by the United States, represents a rare, quantifiable victory for France and its counterterrorism partners in the region as they struggle to contain a bloody insurgency by jihadist groups. A veteran of Algeria’s brutal civil war in the 1990s, Droukdel’s rise and fall in many ways mirrors the fortunes of the organization […]

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