by the French and Mali forces. Mali is the nation north of Burka Faso. SMF mines in the Burka Faso nation. The west, in this case France, is showing they won't tolerate al qaeda rebels taking over resource rich nations.

'Mali: Rebels lose Gao airport to French, Malian troops'

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1320518--mali-rebels-lose-gao-airport-to-french-malian-troops

Excerpts:

"The French assault began with the capture of the airport, a strategic landing strip that opens the way for easier sorties all over northern Mali.

The further capture of a major bridge leading into the town means that the jihadists “saw their means of transport and their logistics sites destroyed,” French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement."

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"Since France began its military operation, the Islamists have retreated from three small towns in central Mali: Diabaly, Konna and Douentza."