France has announced that senior Al-Qaeda Emir Yahia Djouadi was killed during an overnight operation last month north of Timbuktu, Mali, that was carried out by ground forces backed by a Tiger attack helicopter and two drones. Djouadi has a prominent figure in Algerian Jihad back in the 1990s, where he became a key advisor and financier to Al-Qaeda militants in Northern Africa, especially Libya.
#Barkhane | Dans la nuit du 25 au 26 /02, au Mali, @BARKHANE_OP a conduit une opération qui s’est soldée par la neutralisation de Yahia Djaouadi, alias Abou Ammar al Jazairi, haut cadre historique d’AQMI. pic.twitter.com/8szIYFLwDW
— Armée française – Opérations militaires (@EtatMajorFR) March 7, 2022
According to the French Ministry of Defense, Djouadi played a pivotal role in facilitating operations with the GSIM, an Al-Qaeda aligned organization with a heavy presence in Timbuktu. The GSIM, Al-Qaeda, and other Islamic fundamentalist groups are continued threats in the West African region as borderless uprisings by these Jihadists have not halted.
This persistent threat comes as France continues to withdraw its forces from Mali, with an end goal of ceasing operations in the region by this year. France still pledges to support its African partners, with President Macron stating that French forces will remain in the region to some extent.