Tags: US | drones | Ethiopia | al-Qaida

US Drone Base in Ethiopia Targets al-Qaida

Friday, 28 Oct 2011 11:26 AM

The U.S. Air Force is operating a base out of a remote civilian airport in Ethiopia, targeting an al-Qaida affiliate in East Africa, The Washington Post reports.

The Air Force spent millions to upgrade an airfield in Arba Minch, Ethiopia, building a facility to house drones that can be equipped with Hellfire missiles and satellite-guided bombs.

The Reaper drones have been flying over Somalia, targeting al-Shabab, an Islamic group with ties to al-Qaida.

Master Sgt. James Fisher told the Post that a number of Air Force personnel are working at the Ethiopian airfield “to provide operation and technical support for our security assistance programs.”

The Arba Minch airport expansion is still in progress, said Fisher, spokesman for the 17th Air Force.

The U.S. military is deploying drones over Somalia from a number of locations, including the Seychelles and Djibouti.

The government has used drones to launch attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, according to the Post.

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