A group of Islamist extremists has posed an ever-growing threat to the West African country of Mali, and as France becomes involved, the United States’ military may also soon play a larger role. Now that France and Britain ​authorized air strikes ​over the weekend, the U.S. has also lent support in the form of drones and logistical aid, USA Today reports.

While the Pentagon has been silent on specifics when it comes to the role the U.S. will play in the future, there has been speculation it will be similar to how it aided NATO in Libya. The U.S. offers the capability of aerial refueling and surveillance, something which could prove useful as France expands its fight against insurgents.

“We stand by our French allies and they can count on U.S. support,” Lt. Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement. “I won’t get into the specific nature of our support. As Secretary [Leon] Panetta has said, we share France’s concern in Mali and we will support the French and international community in the effort to counter the terrorist threat there.”

The decision from France to bomb certain rebel targets is indicative of a shift in how the situation in Mali will be handled. Originally, the plan was to provide support to Mali’s military, but recent developments suggest that may not be a feasible option.