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US to launch drone strikes in Niger against IS, Al-Qaeda: Report


The US CIA is set to launch drone strikes against suspected Libya-based jihadists with and the Islamic State group from a base in northeastern Niger, reported.

Nigerien and US officials told the newspaper that operatives have been flying surveillance drones from a small airport in the town of

The airport has grown since February to include new runways and security posts, reported late Sunday, citing

Niger's acknowledged the drone presence, but gave few details, while said the drones have helped improve the town's security.

The move gives an expanded role to the CIA in drone strikes, a change carried out under

His predecessor, Barack Obama, had sought to put drone operations under military control, which is less secretive and more accountable than the CIA, said.

The operates a base in Niger's capital Niamey, some 800 miles southwest of Dirkou, from which it has launched lethal strikes against Libya-based jihadists, reported.

is one of several poor, fragile countries in the Sahel region hit by jihadist unrest.

Libya, which shares a border with Niger, has been thrown into chaos since the ouster of strongman Moamer Kadhafi in October 2011.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, September 10 2018. 16:40 IST