U.S. agrees to French request for airlift help for Mali operation

WASHINGTON Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:03pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has agreed to a French request for airlift capacity to help France move its troops and equipment to Mali, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

The U.S. decision, while widely expected, comes after an Obama administration legal review to decide what assistance Washington could provide to France, which last week began a military operation against Islamist militants in Mali.

(Writing by Warren Strobel; Editing by Eric Beech)