As Syria Strikes Increase, U.S. Predator Drones Leave Africa
And as the Pentagon focuses on battling the Islamic State, missions in Yemen and Somalia appear to have fallen down the priority list in general. Reported drone strikes in both countries are at their lowest point in years.
“There were no U.S. drone strikes reported in Yemen in November, the second calendar month this year without a reported attack,” researchers with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism noted in a monthly update on Dec. 1. “The first strike in Somalia since July killed at least five people on November 21, according to three Somali government officials and local residents.”
On top of the demands in the Middle East, the Pentagon needs drones—beyond just the lowly Predator—and people to fly them all over the world. In August, the Texas Air National Guard sent a pair of MQ-1s to Latvia as part of Washington’s efforts to calm European allies in the face of an increasingly bellicose Russia.
The Air Force’s unmanned aircraft make regular appearances in the Pacific and Latin America, too. All in all, while the Predator’s time in Djibouti may be up, the Pentagon hasn’t lost any of its appetite for drones . . . in East Africa, or anywhere else.
This article originally appeared in War is Boring.