United States have joined France to block Islamists from any more advances.The United States has started transporting French soldiers and equipment to Mali from the Istres air base in southern France.
Washington completed the fifth of an estimated 30 flights in an airlift expected to run for about a week.
A U.S. military cargo plane was seen landing at the international airport and offload about 40 French soldiers, jeeps, and other equipment.In addition, Britain, Belgium, Canada and Denmark were already transporting French material to Mali.
The aim of the intervention is to prevent northern Mali from becoming a launchpad for international attacks by al-Qaida and its local allies in North and West Africa. Fears of this increased sharply after a hostage-taking raid by Islamist militants last week on a gas plant in Algeria.
The rebels have also imposed severe Shariah law in areas they control, carrying out amputations and at least one fatal stoning, and wrecking ancient shrines sacred to moderate Sufi Muslims.
France, which launched air strikes in Mali 11 days ago to halt a surprise Islamist offensive toward the capital Bamako, has urged a swift deployment of the planned U.N.-mandated African force to back up its 2,150 soldiers already there.
The number of French troops could be boosted to more than 3,000 in the coming days and weeks, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.