Defense Dept. Denies Reports of Drone Base in Niger


A Defense Department official rejected reports that Niger would house an American drone base during a Thursday hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"We do not have a drone base in Niger," said Amanda Dory, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs.

Dory said a drone base was an "extrapolation" of the recent status of forces agreement with the government of Niger while answering Rep. Brad Sherman's (D., Calif.) question regarding the topic.

Dory's comments run counter to news reports from earlier this year that the U.S. military was planning to install a new base in Africa in order to expand its intelligence gathering of north western Africa.

According to Dory, the U.S. military is, however, planning to "increase resources that are focused on the region to improve [its] understanding of what is happening there."

Last week, a secret U.S. drone base was revealed to be in Saudi Arabia.