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U.S. Now Moving Toward Armed Drones, Lethal Force in Niger

The Trump administration is paving the way for lethal strikes against terrorists in Niger as the U.S. military pushes forward with a plan to arm the Reaper drones that fly over that country, multiple U.S. officials told NBC News.

France has already decided to arm its drones in the region, U.S. documents show, and the move to arm U.S. Reapers has been under consideration for some time — long before this month’s ambush of a Green Beret unit that resulted in the deaths of four American soldiers. But that incident, details of which are still coming to light, is fueling an urgency within the Trump administration to take more aggressive steps against the terrorist groups that are operating in North and West Africa, according to intelligence and military officials.

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In the wake of the attack, the U.S. has been pressing the government of Niger to allow armed drones at the U.S. bases in that country, three U.S. officials said.

Image: Funeral Held For Army Sargent La David Johnson Killed In Ambush In Niger

Members of the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) 2nd battalion Fse salute the casket of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson at his burial in Hollywood, Florida, on Oct. 21.