US negotiates drone base in North Africa

US expresses desire to place drones in countries in North Africa to intensify monitoring of ISIS bases in Libya

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

According to a senior administration officer, the United States is holding negotiations with countries in North Africa about placing drones at a base near ISIS strongholds in Libya to fully understand the movements of the militant group in that region, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

The WSJ report claimed that drone flights would give the US military and intelligence agencies real-time information access on the militant group’s activities in Libya. Militants who are allied with ISIS have been gaining territories in Libya, while two rival governments are battling for control. Militants have taken advantage by the security vacuum resulting from the political turmoil in the country.  

However, no North African nation has yet agreed to the US offer, the senior US official said. The report continued to state the details of the US offer to North African nations quoting the officials saying such a facility would likely be an existing base under the control of the host country, with the US only using the facilities under permission that would be received from the host nation regarding the placement of the amount of military personnel and drones.

Libya shares borders with the US allies Egypt and Tunisia. Administration officials have declined to share the information regarding which nation will be the host for such facility.

According to the report, the US military officials told the WSJ, drones which would be launched from the projected base could also be used in air strikes against ISIS targets in Libya and the base can also become a launching point for special operations against the militant group.