France registered several major victories over the Islamist rebels in Mali this past weekend. Most importantly, French and French-led forces have all but retaken the key cities of Gao and Timbuktu. That leaves only the major city of Kidal still in Islamist hands along with a scattering of smaller towns and villages.
As my infographic below illustrates, the combined French–Malian force struck out from central Mali along two different axes of advance: one headed towards Gao and the other towards Timbuktu. The African forces of Niger and Chad are flanking the Islamists in and around Gao while other African forces are expected to establish patrols in the cities and towns retaken by the French–Malian force.
Click for the full-size image.