Britain prepares to send military helicopters for French campaign against Islamists in Sahel Ben Farmer, Defence Correspondent Peter Foster, Europe Editor James Rothwell, in Calais 16 January 2018 • 7:44pm Britain will send military helicopters to join a French campaign against Islamist extremists in Africa as London and Paris move to deepen cross-Channel defence ties, the Prime Minister is expected to announce later this week. RAF Chinooks have been offered to transport French troops in discussions ahead of a Franco-British summit on the military, security, space research and immigration. Talks at Sandhurst will see Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron agree closer cooperation on fighting al Qaeda linked militants “at source” in north Africa. The French president on Tuesday also said he will demand Mrs May take more responsibility for the refugee crisis as he vowed there would be no return of the so-called "jungle" migrant camp in Calais. Around 4,000 French troops are waging a cross-border counter-terrorism campaign throughout the southern Sahara, with forces deployed to back local governments in Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso. Whitehall sources said Britain had offered the transport aircraft to make up for shortfalls in French helicopter numbers. RAF C-17 cargo planes helped transport French armoured vehicles to Mali in 2013 when the French first began their military campaign against Islamist rebels. Britain and France have stepped up joint exercises and exchange programmes since the Lancaster House agreement of 2010. Ben Barry, senior fellow for land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the two were the only European nations to retain “combat cultures” and an appetite to take military action. He said: “Of Europe’s largest military powers, only France and UK still seem to have the culture and capability for both expeditionary operations and to use lethal force.” The UK decision to provide extra support to France in the Sahel is seen by UK strategists as emblematic of France’s desire to create serious ‘European’ joint military capabilities - even if these are outside the orbit of the EU itself. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/20...military-helicopters-french-campaign-against/ CHF?