A Malian military spokesman says French and Malian troops are patrolling the critically important city of Gao, in northern Mali.
Lt. Col. Duarran Kone, a spokesman for Mali's defence ministry, said that forces have maintained their hold over a key bridge in the town, as well as the airport.
The capture of the airport is the biggest advance yet in the effort to retake the north of the country.
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.