David Cameron's "iron resolve" in tackling Islamist terrorism in northern Africa could see Britain increasing their role in the French-led mission in Mali.
The Prime Minister will chair a meeting of the National Security Council to consider what additional surveillance and transport help can be provided.
Britain was "not seeking a combat role", he insisted yesterday, but The Times (£) reported that units from all three forces had been placed on "high readiness" to deploy.
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.