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U.S. assembling secret drone bases in Africa, Arabian Peninsula, officials say

Posted By admin On September 21, 2011 @ 3:21 am In Tile,World News | Comments Disabled

Craig Whitlock and Greg Miller,
Washington Post [1]
Sept 21, 2011

The Obama administration is assembling a constellation of secret drone bases for counterterrorism operations in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as part of a newly aggressive campaign to attack al-Qaeda affiliates in Somalia and Yemen, U.S. officials said.

One of the installations is being established in Ethi­o­pia, a U.S. ally in the fight against al-Shabab, the Somali militant group that controls much of that country. Another base is in the Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, where a small fleet of “hunter-killer” drones resumed operations this month after an experimental mission demonstrated that the unmanned aircraft could effectively patrol Somalia from there.

The U.S. military also has flown drones over Somalia [2]and Yemen from bases in Djibouti, a tiny African nation at the junction of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. In addition, the CIA is building a secret airstrip in the Arabian Peninsula [3]so it can deploy armed drones over Yemen.

The rapid expansion of the undeclared drone wars is a reflection of the growing alarm with which U.S. officials view the activities of al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Somalia, even as al-Qaeda’s core leadership in Pakistan has been weakened [4]by U.S. counterterrorism operations.

Full article here [1]

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URLs in this post:

[1] Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-building-secret-drone-bases-in-africa-arabian-peninsula-officials-say/2011/09/20/gIQAJ8rOjK_print.html

[2] drones over Somalia : http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/national-security/us-drones-target-two-leaders-of-somali-group-allied-with-al-qaeda/2011/06/29/AGJFxZrH_story.html

[3] secret airstrip in the Arabian Peninsula : http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-shifts-focus-to-killing-targets/2011/08/30/gIQA7MZGvJ_story.html

[4] has been weakened : http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/al-qaeda-could-lose-operational-capabilities-within-2-years-us-official-says/2011/09/13/gIQAzwXgQK_story.html

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