The United States is assembling a series of secret drone bases in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as part of covert counterterrorism operations aimed at Al Qaeda groups in Somalia and Yemen, the Washington Post reports.
The establishment of these bases are yet another step in the ongoing strategy of the Obama administration to aggressively confront terrorist threats using unmanned aerial vehicles.
But Wikileaks cables leaked to the Washington Post also show that the drones based in the Seychelles were used for counterterrorism efforts over Somalia – though not “direct attacks,” say one diplomatic cable.
The U.S. military has also flown drones over Somalia and Yemen from bases in Djibouti, located near the Gulf of Eden.
The bases in the Seychelles, Ethiopia and Djibouti are soon to be joined by another secret airstrip currently being built by the CIA in the Arabian Peninsula so that it can deploy armed drones over Yemen, says the Washington Post.
The U.S. government is known to have used drones to carry out armed attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
By Tim Mak