US Flying Armed Drones Out of Ethiopia Base

Ethiopia denies US presence, Air Force doesn't
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2011 3:26 AM CDT
An MQ-9 Reaper flies by on a training mission in Nevada.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Not only has the United States built a network of military drone bases in East Africa, it is flying its armed Reaper drones out of a base in southern Ethiopia on secret missions against al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups from Somalia to Yemen, reports the Washington Post. The Ethiopian government is denying the presence of US drones on its soil, but an Air Force spokesman says operations “will continue as long as the government of Ethi­o­pia welcomes our cooperation on these varied security programs."

The Ethiopian government may deny the United States has any military bases there, but travelers say American military personnel and contractors are becoming a common sight around the town of Arba Minch, which lies around 300 miles south of Addis Ababa and around 600 miles east of the Somalian border. The US military—which also operates drones out of the Seychelles and Djibouti—says the Reaper has a range of around 1,150 miles.

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