The Washington Post

Drone bases secretly assembled: Where are they located?

The United States is assembling a series of secret drone bases in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as part of a more aggressive campaign to attack al-Qaeda groups in Somalia and Yemen, The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock and Greg Miller report today

An MQ-4 Predator drone. (Maya Alleruzzo/Associated Press)

“It’s a conscious recognition that those are the hot spots developing right now,” a former senior U.S. military official told the Post.

Below, we take a look at those four new bases:

Ethiopia: There had been discussions about putting a drone base in Ethi­o­pia for years, but the plan was delayed because “the Ethiopians were not all that jazzed,” according to a U.S. official. Ethi­o­pia has become a valuable U.S. ally in the fight against Somali militant group al-Shabab, and a base is now being established there.

Seychelles: The island nation has been home to a small fleet of Reaper drones since September 2009, but U.S. and Seychellois officials said their main purpose was to track pirates and that they would not be armed. Classified U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks show, however, that the aircraft have also conducted counterterrorism missions in Somalia and that the U.S. was thinking about weaponizing the drones. A small fleet of “hunter-killer” drones, based in a hangar at the Seychelles airport, have now resumed operations after a test mission determined that aircraft based there could patrol Somalia.

Djibouti: This tiny African country is also a base from which the U.S. military can fly drones over Somalia.

Arabian peninsula: A secret airstrip is being built here by the CIA for the deployment of armed drones over Yemen. The U.S.  says al-Qaeda offshoots could emerge in the area for years to come.

The U.S. government has previously used drones to carry out lethal attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

Read the full story here.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
How to make Sean Brock's 'Heritage' cornbread
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
The signature dish of Charleston, S.C.
Play Videos
Why seasonal allergies make you miserable
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
What you need to know about filming the police
Play Videos
The Post taste tests Pizza Hut's new hot dog pizza
5 tips for using your thermostat
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
The signature drink of New Orleans