The U.S. military operates a major drone base in the northwestern African country of Niger. The country shares borders with Mali, Libya and Nigeria, countries struggling to contain armed extremist movements, and the drones housed in Niger are deployed to these countries regularly.
The base houses unarmed Predator drones for now, but U.S. officials say they have not ruled out equipping the aircraft with Hellfire missiles in the future.
(Photo: REUTERS/U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Hall/Handout)