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Report Details Expansion Of U.S. Drone Operations In Africa

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 25/02/2016 Nick Visser
ATHENA IMAGE © Credit: str/Associated Press ATHENA IMAGE

A new report details the United States' expanded effort to fight the terrorist group Boko Haram in Central Africa, affirming an Obama administration commitment to aid the war-torn region.

Reporter Joshua Hammer traveled to Cameroon for The Intercept, where the U.S. recently sent several hundred American troops and a detachment of drones to track the group known for suicide bombings and kidnappings, including the abduction of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls almost two years ago.

The Defense Department has set up a secretive military base near the country's border with Nigeria, the headquarters of Boko Haram, from where state-of-the-art drones fly regular surveillance trips over a dozen countries. The operation has ramped up in just a few short months, and Hammer notes "there is plenty more to come" in what has been called a temporary mission that could take some time.

"The American move into Cameroon marks a dramatic uptick in the war to contain a terrorist threat that has expanded across central Africa," he said.

Several of his sources note an American presence has become a powerful addition to an initiative Hammer identifies as a work-in-progress, where officials are still judging how far the U.S. should wade in. An October report from The Intercept's Jeremy Scahill found drone strikes in Afghanistan conducted under President Barack Obama killed unintended targets nearly nine times out of 10.

Read the entire story at The Intercept.

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