French Defense Minister Jean - Yves Le Drian says his country is in talks with the Unites States and Israel to purchase surveillance drones in a bid to
enhance its military capabilities.On Sunday, Le Drian said France should build up its capacity to make unmanned aircrafts, adding that, “We need this capacity in the short term. ” On May 17, a report published byAir et Cosmosspecialist magazine revealed that following a deal reached between Paris and Washington, France will buy two American medium - altitude Reaper drones to back up its military operations against fighters in the crisis - hit Mali. The report added that the French Air Force, which has already deployed Israeli - made armed unmanned drones to the West African nation, intends to acquire more modern drones rapidly. On May 18, the dailyLe Mondereported that Paris was considering purchasing a total of five or seven US - made unarmed Reaper surveillance drones at the cost of 300 million euros(USD 384.72 million). In February, a report published by theWorld Tribune indicated that the French military has used "Harfang" medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) drones manufactured by Israel in war-torn Mali. France launched its war on the resource-rich West African country in January under the pretext of fighting al-Qaeda-linked extremists. The French-led war on Mali has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in the northern areas of the country and has displaced thousands of people, who now live in deplorable conditions.