Islamist rebels slipped into the strategic city of Gao by crossing the Niger River with canoes over the weekend.
International donors have pledged $455.53 million for an international campaign tackling Islamist militants in Mali.
France's military intervention has been widely greeted here. Normally, Malian attitudes towards its former colonial ruler range from resentment to admiration.
The killings of PKK founder Sakine Cansiz and two others could be an attempt to derail negotiations between Ankara and the PKK to peacefully end the militant group's separatist campaign.