The US government has been running a “shadow war” from outposts in Africa using drones and manned aircrafts to strike targets in the region reports the Intercept, citing a leaked internal 2013 Pentagon study.
Through a unit called Task Force 48-4, the US Africa Command, or Africom—the umbrella organization for US army activities on the continent—carried out operations in 2011 and 2012 from its headquarters in Djibouti, targeting terrorism suspects in Somalia and Yemen. Camp Lemonnier, as it is known, was a primary base for such operations. But there were “spokes” elsewhere in the region, the Intercept reports, citing defense secretary Ashton Carter. The Intercept provides a list of 14 other locations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, and elsewhere in the region.
The power vacuum that followed in countries such as Libya and Tunisia created an opening for militant extremists to operate more freely. Since then, Africom has been working with African governments to establish “staging areas, cooperative security locations and forward operating locations,” according to the report.
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