On January 28, about two hundred legionnaires of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP – 2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes) jumped north of Timbuktu, the ancient trading city in Mali and an important point controlled by Islamist insurgents.

In Timbuktu, the paratroopers of the Foreign Legion joined other French troops already operating in Mali, including the legionnaires of the 1er REC, in a concerted operation to push the Islamist insurgents out and gain control of the city.

The troops are all part of the 11th Parachute Brigade of the French Army.  The assault force was also included a company element from the 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment (17e Régiment de Génie Parachutiste – 17e RGP), also part of the 11th Parachute Brigade, who jumped into the airport at Timbuktu to clear obstacles and open the airfield for operational use.

The video below shows a French Foreign Legion (2e Régiment Etranger de Parachutistes – 2eREP) paradrop into Timbuktu, Mali, from a C-160 Transal of the French Air Force.  It was taken on Jan. 28, from the Infra-Red camera of a Harfang drone, supporting Operation Serval from Niger.

(click on the picture to launch the video)

Another video of the drop.  (click on the picture to launch the video)