The Africa Command of the US military (AFRICOM) says US forces started deploying armed drones in the West African country of Niger earlier this year to launch attacks against purported militant hideouts.
“In coordination with the Government of Niger, US Africa Command has armed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft already in Niger,” media outlets quoted a spokesperson for AFRICOM as saying on Monday.
“As a matter of operational security, we do not discuss where strike platforms originate from, nor current or future operations,” it added.
Media reports indicate that the drones are currently being flown out of a base in the capital Niamey while the military completes construction of a $100 million drone base in the central city of Agadez.
Last November, Niger’s government granted American forces permission to arm their drones. Before that, US drones had only been used for surveillance.
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