U.S. Plans Drone Base in Africa to Increase Surveillance on Al-Qaeda

The United States is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa, reported The New York Times.

The military's Africa Command, Africom, said that, if approved, the base could have as many as 300 military and contractor personnel and would be located in Niger — on the eastern border of Mali.

The purpose is "to increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups." Officials say they'll fly only unarmed surveillance drones — for now. 

According to the Times, though the base "could alienate local people who may associate [drones] with deadly attacks in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen," Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou "has expressed a willingness to establish [...] a long-term strategic relationship with the U.S."

Read on the NYT

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