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US Military Transport Planes Shipping French Troops, Supplies to Mali

The first officially confirmed direct US military involvement in the French invasion of Mali today, saying US C-17 Globemasters have been deployed to Barmako, the capital city of Mali, to ferry French troops back and forth into the country.

The transport planes began flying missions into Mali last week, according to officials, something which had been reported but until today not confirmed. Pentagon officials were mum on whether US drones were deployed and said there had been no decision yet on ground troops for the war.

Pentagon spokesman George Little insisted that the US would not seek payment for the flights to Mali, apparently attempting to quiet rumors that had fueled angry criticism from French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

C-17s have been deployed by several nations besides the United States, with both Britain and Canada providing them as their initial involvement in the French invasion, which apparently came without much consideration from French military officials on how to ferry their troops from France into the African nation.

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