More troops enter the conflict in Mali.
Chad sent forces to the embattled African nation on Monday, deploying them outside Kidal, northern Mali's biggest town.
They now join troops from France, Niger, and Mali, as well as the country's Tuareg rebels, in a coordinated military offensive against Al-Qaeda affiliated fighters.
Three weeks of French air strikes broke the Islamist militant's 10-month grip on Mali's northern cities.
Now, a coalition of troops is trying to flush the fighters out from their hiding places in the desert and remote mountain region.
On Wednesday, France's Defense Minister finally called this "a real war".
The French sent reinforcements earlier this week and say they expect to start pulling out their roughly 4,000 troops in March, if all goes according to plan.
But some military experts fear the conflict in Mali could turn into a guerilla-style war.
If that happens, French cargo troops may be bringing more supplies to the Sahara before their troops can finally go home.