France dispatched elite commandos to free two French hostages under cover of night, then called on other nations to join in taking decisive action against Somali pirates disrupting commerce and aid operations off the East African coast.It will be interesting to see if Somalian pirates go after another French flagged ship, because it does not appear messing with the French is good for business.
French troops wearing night-vision goggles killed one pirate, captured six others and pulled the French Polynesian couple to safety in an overnight operation described by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a triumphant press conference.
He pressed other countries to follow his nation's example and take on the pirates instead of negotiating.
"The world cannot accept this. Today, these are no longer isolated cases but a genuine industry of crime," Sarkozy told reporters in Paris. "This industry casts doubt on a fundamental freedom: that of movement and of international commerce."
This is very impressive, the French are making very complex hostage rescue operations in a foreign country look easy. Somali pirates are still holding 150 hostages and at least 15 ships, mainly in Eyl. Malaysia has arrived with three ships, one which is an LST, and the Iwo Jima ESG crossed the Suez last Sunday and could arrive any day.
While direct US Marine action is unlikely, US support for action from other nations is certainly a possibility. It is possible this is the beginning of the end of the piracy originating from Eyl, because as the French operation demonstrates, intelligence is really good right now.