CIA is expected to begin operating armed drone RQ-1 Predator over Yemen to fight al-Qaeda 1406111
Defense News - United States
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 08:44 PM
CIA is expected to begin operating armed drone RQ-1 Predator over Yemen to fight al-Qaeda threat.
The CIA is expected to begin operating armed drone aircraft RQ-1 Predator over Yemen, expanding the hunt for al-Qaeda operatives in a country where counter-terrorism efforts have been disrupted by political chaos, U.S. officials said.
The plan to move CIA-operated Predator and other unmanned aircraft into the region reflects a decision by President Obama that the al-Qaeda threat in Yemen has grown so serious that patrols by U.S. military drones are not enough.
U.S. officials said the CIA would operate alongside, and in close coordination with, the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, which has been flying Predators and other remotely piloted planes over Yemen for much of the past year.
The US campaign in Yemen is led by the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command in close co-operation with the CIA. Teams of US military and intelligence operatives have a command post in Sanaa to track intelligence about militants and plot future strikes.