NewsExpress banner Firstbank Verve banner Fidelity bank card banner Umm Sulaim's Thoughts Camano banner

Deploy armed drones against militants in Niger, US told

By News Express on 02/11/2017

Gmail icon

Views: 1,028

•U.S. drones
•U.S. drones

Niger has asked the United States to start using armed drones against jihadist groups operating on the Mali border, raising the stakes in a counterinsurgency campaign jolted by a deadly ambush of allied U.S.-Nigerien forces.

On October 4, Islamist militants with sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades killed four U.S. soldiers and at least four of their Nigerien partners in an ambush that exposed the dangers of an expanding U.S. presence in the largely desert nation.

What began as a small U.S. training operation has expanded to an 800-strong force that accompanies the Nigeriens on intelligence-gathering and other missions. It includes a $100 million drone base in the central Nigerien city of Agadez, which, however, now deploys only surveillance drones.

“I asked them some weeks ago to arm them [the drones] and use them as needed,” Defense Minister Kalla Mountari told Reuters in an interview in his office. Asked whether Washington had accepted the request, he said: “Our enemies will find out.”

The deaths of the U.S. soldiers, at the hands of suspected insurgents with the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara group, shocked Americans, many of whom did not realise their country had such a large presence in Africa’s Sahel region.

The incident also highlighted the “mission creep” that has set in and expanded the U.S. role in landlocked Niger, one of the world’s poorest and most insecure countries.

Mountari said the team of 12 U.S. Special Forces soldiers and 30 Nigerien troops had been “right up to the Mali border and had neutralised some bandits” just before the ambush took place.

He declined to give further details.

No engagement intended

The U.S. military has been adamant that the October 3-4 mission was not intended to involve contact with enemy forces.

Mountari said: “They [U.S.-Nigerien contingent] came back to Niger, they greeted the population, they gathered intelligence, and it was inside the country, when they didn't expect anything, that the attack happened.”

U.S. forces do not have a direct combat mission in Niger, but their assistance to its military does include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in their efforts to target violent Islamist organisations.

However, Mountari was clear he saw them as close partners.

“The Americans are not just exchanging information with us. They are waging war when necessary,” he said.

“We are working hand in hand. The clear proof is that the Americans and Nigeriens fell on the battlefield for the peace and security of our country.”

But a growing U.S. role in Niger could prove unpopular both with Americans, many of whom are tired of costly and sometimes deadly foreign adventures, and in Niger, whose citizens have mixed feelings about foreign forces on their soil.

Drone strikes have been controversial in other parts of the world because of the risk of civilian casualties. At a protest rally over a domestic political issue on Sunday, dozens of demonstrators also began chanting against the presence of foreign troops in Niger, a Reuters witness said. (Reuters)

Source News Express

Posted 02/11/2017 9:10:28 PM

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
US, UK legislators more expensive to maintain than...

Pastor arrested for allegedly impregnating 16-year-old student

Protests mark opening of European Parliament

What African entrepreneurs need to succeed — Ekeh...

South African banks suffer heavy losses following sack...

Delta Guber: I will win again, says Okowa,...

Nigeria’s security challenges: Practical solutions to proliferation of...

14 farmers killed in police operation

Protest as landlord allegedly defiles 2-year-old girl

State govts raise N600 billion bonds in 10...

Wahala in new Kano Emirate •Wudil people demand...

Abia Wants Gov. T.A Orji to Run

 

Latest News Anambra community sacks monarch •Accuses him of truncating peace, high-handedness 6 suspects in Police net for murder, illegal possession of firearms Yari, Shinkafi, Yerima, Emirs to lose farmlands on grazing reserves, cattle routes 2023: How my successor will emerge — Umahi I would rather die than join APC — Fani-Kayode Armed robbers attack hospital, rob patients, staff Atiku, Tinubu meet at airport, hold hands discussing Lagos to test-run Blue line rail December 2020 Osun monarch divorces queen over irreconcilable differences NNPC declares N5.20bn trading surplus in August We will sustain tempo of development in Oyo — Makinde The agenda for new FIRS Chairman, By Danladi Ndayebo

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (573,405 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (457,271 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (407,327 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (341,961 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (308,514 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (293,433 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (261,684 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (260,995 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (242,412 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (228,811 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (204,487 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (200,812 views)

 

CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (112) Business & Economy (4,625) Business Verdict (89) Columnists (1,158) Complaints & Requests (98) Enterprise & Opportunities (221) Entertainment (719) Features (857) Global Business Monitor (499) ICT Monitor (73) International (4,328) Interview (220) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (179) Maggie's Blog (520) News (55,324) Opinion (1,443) Pidgin (18) Politics (11,898) Religion (1,133) Sports (2,258) Stock Watch (41) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera