The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been operating a secret airbase for unmanned drones in Saudi Arabia for the past two years. The facility was established to hunt for members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen.
Libyan rebel fighters in Misurata have driven forces loyal to Colonel Muammer Gaddafi out of the beleaguered coastal city, but are still being shelled despite the regime’s claims that it has withdrawn its troops from the area.
Khaled Kaim, Libya’s deputy foreign minister, has said that pro-government forces will withdraw from Misurata, leaving the tribes to deal with the rebels.
U.S. Sen. John McCain praised Libya’s rebels as his “heroes” in a visit to their de facto capital Friday, a day after the United States started flying armed drones to bolster NATO firepower and try to break a battlefield stalemate with Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.
President Barack Obama has approved the use of armed Predator drones in Libya, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday. Gates suggested that the unmanned Predator missions may have already begun.