U.S. President Barack Obama has authorized $10 million in military aid to help France fight terrorists in the Sahel region of West Africa.
From his vacation retreat along the Atlantic Ocean in Massachusetts, Obama said Monday that "an unforeseen emergency exists" requiring the assistance for France as it fights against "violent extremists" in Chad, Mali and Niger.
The funds will be used for airlift and aerial refueling services requested by France.
More than a year ago, France launched an operation in Mali aimed at defeating Islamist extremists who had overrun part of the former French colony. Now, with a force of 3,000 troops, France has expanded the operation throughout the region, including in Mauritania and Burkina Faso.