Malian officials say militants have given up their 4x4 vehicles, making them vulnerable to French air operations. Reuters journalists north of Bamako saw French and Malian flags hung side by side and one national paper ran a headline today: 'Thank you France, thank you Francois Hollande.' Still, it is early days.
France's military intervention has been widely greeted here. Normally, Malian attitudes towards its former colonial ruler range from resentment to admiration.
Initial French estimates of a brief conflict may be revised as militants are not breaking quickly, French airstrikes continue, and more French troops are on the way.