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August 11, 2014 AT 6:54 AM
President Barack Obama on Monday directed $10 million in emergency Pentagon spending to help France fight terrorists in northwest Africa. Obama made the order Monday in a memo to his secretaries of Defense and State from his vacation on Martha's Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast. Obama wrote, "I hereby determine that an unforeseen emergency exists that requires immediate military assistance to France in its efforts to secure Mali, Niger, and Chad from terrorists and violent extremists." France recently launched a military operation to fight Islamist groups, with some 3,000 troops being dispatched to five of its former colonies in Africa's Sahel region. The operation is code-named "Barkhane" after a crescent-shaped dune in Sahara desert.