US Increases Drone Flight Range in East Africa
The United States military will start deploying armed drones to eastern Africa as it increase its campaign to get rid of the militant forces in the region. Their mission is also to gain more intelligence with regards to the extremists.
The armed forces reopened a base for the drone aircrafts on Seychelles to increase attacks on al Qaeda affiliates in Somalia and the rest of eastern Africa. It would use the Seychelles base for its surveillance drones as well as the armed MQ-9 Reapers. This would support the strikes from the US drone base in Djibouti.
The new plan comes as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other officials announced the need to follow up on the killing of Osama bin Laden last May. He said that the terrorist organization should be destroyed to prevent future attacks to happen.
The officials are concerned that the al Qaeda is expanding its operations in East Africa and a new militant leader will appear from that region. The military has improved surveillance on militant groups in the region to keep its affiliates in check.
The US military has been operating a base in Djibouti and used drones against militants in Somalia. The new base in Seychelles will allow more drone flights and improve operation security. It would give them a better chance of finding al Qaeda training camps.