On Monday March 7, the French army announced that it had killed a senior Algerian executive from the jihadist group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) at the end of February in Mali. The operation that took place at « 100 kilometers from Timbuktu led to the neutralization of the Algerian jihadist Yahia Djouadi, alias Abou Ammar Al Jazairi”, explains the staff in a press release.
After being located and identified in an area known to be a refuge for groups belonging to Aqmi, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), affiliated with the Al-Qaeda nebula, “he was neutralized by an intervention on the ground”, details the staff.
Historical framework of AQIM
The main figure of Algerian jihadism, Abou Ammar Al Jazairi joined the armed Islamic group (GIA) in 1994, then joined the Salafist group for preaching and combat (GSPC). Climbing the ranks, he became military adviser to the historic emir Abdelmalek Droukdal, killed on June 3, 2020 by the French forces of Operation Barkhane, before being appointed emir of the southern region of AQIM in 2007.
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Following the successive neutralizations of AQMI executives from 2015, he was forced to return to Mali in 2019. Since then, he has assumed the role of financial and logistics coordinator for the group.
“Significant tactical success for the Barkhane force”
This announcement comes as France and its European partners have announced their military withdrawal from Mali, citing the “multiple obstructions” of the Malian junta which took power in two coups in 2020 and 2021.
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Militarily present since 2013 in Mali, France has given itself six months to withdraw its forces from the country, while continuing the targeted hunt for the main jihadist leaders. Despite the ongoing withdrawal of 2,400 French soldiers, “its neutralization is a new significant tactical success for the Barkhane force”, explains the French army specifying to remain “determined to continue the fight against armed terrorist groups”.