Enlisted in the 7th Battalion of Alpine Hunters, in 2012, at the age of 26, soldier Blasco, sniper of the mountain commando group, has become, in nine years, a real warrior, a seasoned professional and not a hero. , a term he had refuted after he had been decorated by the President of the Republic. In May 2019, Maxime Blasco had shown exceptional courage in a Gazelle helicopter.
When it fires on around thirty terrorists, the aircraft, hit by enemy projectiles, must land urgently. The master corporal is ejected. Despite his injuries, he came back to the carcass on fire and extracted the pilot and the captain, also injured. Under fire from the jihadists, he drags them about fifty meters to an open area. The closest rescue is a Tiger helicopter. It only has two seats. In the dust of the pale, the master corporal then hoists the pilots on the wheels of the Tiger which risks being shot down in turn. He clings to the device with his arms, his body hanging in the air. He does not have a choice. He knows what awaits him if he falls into the hands of the fanatics.
A fifth fatal stay
A few minutes later, the Tiger gently deposits his human cluster with other commandos who arrive as reinforcements. The master corporal achieved a feat, thanks to exceptional inner strength. A constant with him. Since 2016, he has been spending time in Mali. Each time, it is decorated. Its infiltrations into the enemy allow their arrest or their elimination. The next time, he storms a house at the head of his group. Appraisal: four prisoners. Later, he contributes to the capture of an arms depot, to the immobilization of enemy sentries. From a Gazelle, he supports the troops on the ground by firing on GATs, neutralizes a convoy of enemy vehicles. His fifth stay will be fatal to him. He was mortally wounded, on September 24, by a jihadist lurking under shrubs, killed in turn by the retaliatory fire of his comrades. The master corporal leaves a partner and a child.
He is the 52nd French soldier to die in Mali as Operation Barkhane (5,100 men) began its redeployment to reduce its strength by about half and focus on the area of the three borders, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, in this area. Gourma or Maxime Blasco lost his life. A very late decision taken by Emmanuel Macron to try to eradicate Islamist fighters from this vast region.
Doing better with less means that, from now on, the commandos will be more called upon to go into contact with the GAT, alongside an insignificant Malian army, commanded by a military junta at odds with Paris, which suspects it of negotiating undercover with the “Rebels” and encourage the arrival of Russian mercenaries from the Wagner company, which belongs to a friend of Vladimir Poutine. Suddenly, even the elimination of jihadist leaders, as on September 15, does not seem to be able to change the situation.