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The US can't use its $110 million drone base in Niger

Known as "Nigerien Air Base 201," the installation cost $110 million to build and it features a 6,200-foot runway for MQ-9 Reapers as well as manned aircraft. The U.S. military began conducting drone flights from the base in November 2019.

About 1,100 U.S. troops are currently deployed to Niger, according to the Defense Department. The country is an important partner in the U.S. military's efforts to counter the Islamic State group and other terrorist organizations in Africa. In October 2017, four U.S. soldiers were killed near the Nigerien village of Tongo Tongo after being attacked by more than 100 ISIS fighters.

Politico first reported that U.S. military drones were unable to fly from a base near Agadez, Niger, after the country's armed forces ousted Niger's president in a July 26 coup.

It is too early to determine how the closure of Niger's airspace will affect U.S. military operations in Africa, a second U.S. official told Task & Purpose.

In the short term, not being able to use of Nigerien Air Base 201 will limit the U.S. military's visibility over the Sahel region of Africa where ISIS [???] and al-Qaida's branch in West Africa known as Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, or JNIM, both have a strong presence in Africa and the Middle East.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 7th, 2023 at 01:42:04 PM EST
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