US drones working out of Greece covering North Africa threats

The Intercept:
AS PART OF its ongoing expansion of operations in and around Africa, the U.S. military has recently begun operating drones from a Greek airfield.

MQ-9 Reapers, the more advanced replacement for the venerable Predator drone, deployed last month to Larissa air base in eastern Greece near the Aegean Sea “on a temporary basis as they transition to a different location,” according to Auburn Davis, the chief of media operations for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, who noted that the remotely piloted aircraft, or RPA, are unarmed and engaged in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions known as ISR.

“This is the first time that ISR capabilities have been temporarily deployed to Greece,” Davis told The Intercept. Due to “operational security considerations,” the Air Force declined to release details about the missions for which they’ll be used beyond referencing “foreign policy security objectives in the region, specifically to address threats emanating from the south.” The Reaper drones are ordinarily based in Africa, according to Pentagon spokesperson Eric Pahon.

“The U.S. has previously deployed drones or drone operations support personnel to Italy and Tunisia to support operations over Libya. This deployment to Larissa, Greece, is also most probably in support of U.S. objectives in Libya, where the U.S. has for several years used drones to mitigate the threats posed by Islamic militant groups and to support local partners,” Dan Gettinger, co-founder and co-director of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, told The Intercept. The U.S. has conducted at least nine airstrikes in Libya since President Donald Trump took office.
I suspect the drones are also used to cover potential targets in the Middle East.  Turkey has become such an unreliable ally that it makes sense to move the drones west to Greece.  After Obama and Clinton's strategic fiasco in Libya, that country has become a terrorist playground as well as a slave trading hub that ensnares Africans trying to make it to Europe.


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