The USA will strengthen its role in providing logistic and strategic support to the French-led military intervention in Mali by conducting aerial refueling missions.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta spoke to his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian to discuss the American military's role in the ongoing conflict against Islamist rebels occupying the north of the country. The Pentagon press office said:
"Following up on President Obama's call with French President Hollande yesterday, Secretary Panetta today spoke to French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian to discuss U.S. support for the international community's efforts to deny terrorists a safe haven in Mali."
"Secretary Panetta informed Minister Le Drian that U.S. Africa Command will support the French military by conducting aerial refueling missions as operations in Mali continue."
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.