A spokesman for al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has asked France to reconsider its military intervention in Mali, Reuters reported.
"We denounce France's clear and unequivocal intervention in Mali's internal affairs", Abdallah al-Chinguetti said.
"We can't be clearer than this: This is an operation by the Crusaders in order to destroy the Islamic projects in Mali", he added.
Throughout ten months of Islamist rule, the people of Timbuktu risked their lives to preserve the artefacts of their ancient heritage.
Francois Hollande is due to visit Timbuktu during his visit to the West African country this weekend. He will be welcomed by many.
Downing Street have been explaining what offers the UK have made to the military effort in Mali.