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Operation Context

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TO: OC C SQN SBS

FROM: PJHQ NORTHWOOD

SUBJECT: OP APPHIA

PRIORITY: IMMEDIATE

DTG: 221900ZJUL18

CLASSIFICATION: NATO/OTAN SECRET

 

+++++++++++++BEGINS+++++++++++++

 

SITUATION

Mali is a country with a bloody history in the 58 years since it gained independence from France. For the past 6 years the Malian government have been fighting an ongoing internal conflict against Islamic militants and Tuareg separatists. The Malian government has only been able to maintain control thanks to support from Economic Community of West African States and the deployment of French Military forces and UN Peacekeepers.

 

In recent months a spike in SIGINT hits in Southern Libya and Northern Mali linked to leaders of the Islamic militant organisation Army of Jihad in West Africa(AJWA) has led to the belief that AJWA are planning an offensive, likely targeted at the upcoming Malian Presidential elections.

 

RESPONSE

In response to the recent uptick in anti-government violence in Mali - and the potential for a large scale offensive from Divine State linked groups like AJWA - the governments of France, the United Kingdom and the United States have made the joint decision to deploy elements of their Special Operations units to Mali to assist the Malian Government and Army in identifying, locating and destroying Islamic militant anti-government forces.

 

Additionally to this the Special Operations units will be in place to conduct direct action raids to kill or capture high value targets related to Divine State in the Greater Sahara and Army of Jihad in West Africa. These SOF units will form Task Force 481 for the duration of the deployment.

 

CONCEPT OF OPERATION

C Sqn, as part of TF Black, will conduct operations in support of the Malian Army to aid in the stabilisation of Mali before, during and immediately after the July 29th Presidential elections. Operations will mainly focus on intelligence gathering and training of Malian Special Forces, however it is highly likely that C Sqn will be called on to conduct direct action operations as part of a Expeditionary Targeting Force should high value targets become available.

 

FRIENDLY FORCES

TF BLACK will stage from FOB CLOVIS, a large military base on the Southern edge of the city of Kidal.
TF BLUE, a Joint Special Operations package mainly comprising of a squadron from DEVGRU, will also stage from FOB CLOVIS.

TF WHITE, comprised of two companies from 1er R.P.I.Ma, will stage from Bamako–Sénou International Airport.

TF GREEN, a Joint Special Operations package mainly comprising of a squadron from 1st SFOD-D, will also stage from.

Intelligence support will be provided by TF ORANGE and helicopter transport and close air support will be provided by TF Brown.

 

GREENFOR

The 13th Combined Arms Regiment is responsible for 1st Military Region which encompasses the Goa and Kidal regions. Currently there is one mechanised battalion from the 13th Combined Arms Regiment operating in Kidal although concerns have been raised about their state of readiness and the quality of their training.

 

ENEMY FORCES

The main anti-government forces in Northern Mali are the Army of Jihad in West Africa (AJWA), a militant Islamist organisation that intends to spread jihad across Western Africa, and the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA), a group comprised of ethnic Tuaregs who seek to create their own sovereign state in Northern Mali.

 

AJWA are currently the main threat to Malian Army and UN forces in Northern Mali having, in the last year, claimed responsibility for numerous attacks and sworn allegiance to Divine State in the Greater Sahara. AJWA are believed to have somewhere between 800-1000 fighters in Northern Mali and the Libyan border region.

 

MNLA are currently not a major concern for UN or Malian forces due to internal struggles and ongoing negotiations with the Malian Government, however this status could change should the negotiations turn sour or the elections lead to violence.

 

GROUND

Kidal is a town and commune in the desert region of northern Mali. The town lies 177 mi northeast of Gao and is the capital of the Kidal Cercle and the Kidal Region. The climate is typical Saharan with very little rainfall and large fluctuations in temperature. The average annual rainfall is around 130 mm but there are large year-to-year variations.


+++++++++++ENDS+++++++++++

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TO: OC C SQN SBS

FROM: TF-481 HQ

SUBJECT: OP APPHIA//KIDAL EMERGENCY

PRIORITY: FLASH

DTG: 281900ZJUL18

CLASSIFICATION: NATO/OTAN SECRET

 

+++++++++++++BEGINS+++++++++++++

 

SITUATION

 

Reports from the Malian Army and attached American and French advisors indicate that roughly one hour ago anti government forces, likely linked to AJWA and Divine State, launched a coordinated attack in Kidal seeking to take and hold key strategic areas. The attack was initiated by suicide bombings targeting the Kidal marketplace, the local police station, the aerodrome and a Western backed construction project in the North of the city. Due to the surprise nature of the attack we are unsure of the strength of the militant force however it is likely they number somewhere between 100-300 across the city.

 

Currently the enemy forces have secured strongholds in the Kidal marketplace and the aerodrome and have managed to repulse attempts by the Malian Army to retake these areas. Due to these failed attempts and the lack of expertise in night operations, the Malian Government has requested that British and American forces assist in retaking the city of Kidal.

 

Response

   

The Malian Army forces deployed to Kidal have begun encircling the city to attempt to cut off any potential reinforcements or attempts by the militants to escape. In addition to this they have begun to move civilians from the centre of the city to the outskirts to prevent deaths. The Malian Army will act as a secondary force and support TF-481 forces with their primary taskings being to maintain a cordon around the city and to control areas once they have been secured by British and American forces.

 

C Squadron SBS should move immediately from FOB CLOVIS to the Kidal marketplace to retake it from militant forces currently occupying it. Secondary to this C Sqn should be prepared to redeploy to any follow-on missions should the need present itself. At the same time Red Squadron, NSWDG will link up with Malian Army forces and move to retake the aerodrome from militant hands. AFRICOM has retasked a MQ-9 Reaper drone from Tunisia to conduct ISTAR taskings. Images and information will be relayed as soon as possible.

 

+++++++++++ENDS+++++++++++

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