News / Africa

Report: US Expanding Anti-Terror Operations in Djibouti

An undated handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows a unmanned MQ-1 Predator drone.
An undated handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows a unmanned MQ-1 Predator drone.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
A Washington newspaper reports the United States has sharply escalated its counter-terrorism operations at a military base in the East African nation of Djibouti.

The Washington Post says unmanned drones on missions over Somalia and Yemen take off or land at the base an average of 16 times per day.

It says about 300 personnel plan raids and coordinate the flights from inside a high-security compound at the base, Camp Lemmonier.



Speaking to reporters Friday, U.S. Defense Department spokesman George Little said the base plays an important role in U.S. international security efforts.

"[As] you know, Africa is becoming more and more important for the security and prosperity of the international community," he said.  "There are threats in the region and our presence there is intended in part to address some of the threats in the region," Little said.

The Post said the Djibouti base has also become home to a squadron of F-15 fighter jets, which it reports are flying combat missions over Yemen in the war against al-Qaida.

The Pentagon spokesman confirmed there are fighter jets at Lemonnier but did not confirm they are used in operations over Yemen.

The U.S. is also known to operate drones from two other East African countries -- Ethiopia and the Seychelles islands.

But the Post says those operations are nothing compared to the one at Camp Lemonnier.  The paper calls Lemonnier the centerpiece of an expanding U.S. network of drone and surveillance bases in Africa, created to combat terrorist groups across the continent, including al-Qaida and Somalia's al-Shabab.

It says the Defense Department is planning to spend $1.4 billion to expand its facilities at the Djibouti base.  Pentagon spokesman Little said the size of the camp is not expanding but that the U.S. is doing additional construction at the site.

Camp Lemonnier is the only U.S. military base in Africa.  

The Post says it based its report on unclassified military records it obtained, including construction blueprints, drone accident reports and internal planning memos.

Earlier this month, the Post reported the Obama administration is considering military strikes against al-Qaida militants in North Africa.  Al-Qaida-affiliated groups seized control of northern Mali after a coup toppled Mali's government in March.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid