French Chief of Staff Francois Lecuentre admitted today that his troops will never achieve victory in their stated goal of fighting armed groups in the Sahel region.
"Contrary to what we had envisioned in the major conflicts of the 20th century, French armies would not pass with their victory under the Arc de Triomphe," he told France Inter radio on Thursday. Thirteen soldiers were killed Monday evening in a collision between two helicopters in Mali.
However, he said, "We need to continue our efforts," saying that his country's intervention in the African coast is "useful and necessary."
France launched Operation Serval in northern Mali in early 2013 under the pretext of fighting armed groups.