U.S. Looking to Station Drone Contingent in North Africa
“The U.S. is in talks with North African countries about positioning drones at a base on their soil to ramp up surveillance of Islamic State in Libya in what would be the most significant expansion of the campaign against the extremist group in the region,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
“The establishment of such a base would help eliminate what counterterrorism officials described as one of the last and most pressing intelligence ‘blind spots’ facing U.S. and Western spy agencies. Washington and its allies are seeking to contain the expansion of Islamic State beyond Iraq and Syria.”
“So far, none of the North African countries that could offer access to a base have agreed to do so, according to senior U.S. officials. Governments in the region see Islamic State as a threat but are worried that the group will target them more squarely if they agree to host the American military.”
“Officials said any proposed location would almost certainly be a pre-existing base under the sovereign control of the host government, which would in turn give the U.S. permission to position drones there along with a limited number of U.S. military personnel.”