No surprise! Syria is a wholly different ballgame, In Mali chasing down technicals with jet fighters and inserting a couple of well trained and armed Legionnaires to rout fighters who are mostly far from home and have no local powerbase was extremely easy. The French saw that from the start, there was no bold risk that paid off but they’d like us to think there was. French intervention in the area is almost routine; over the last few years the French have done battle in Chad and the Ivory Coast as well. Whenever their interests in Françafrique are threatened, France acts decisively.
How different is Syria. The French are never going to take up arms against Assad by themselves, without the US it’s never going to happen. And even then everyone is wary of the consequences. Victory in Mali was never in doubt, in Syria it isn’t even clear what victory is.