US confirms Russian troops enter US base in Niger

  WASHINGTON: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has confirmed that Russian military personnel have entered an airbase in Niger that hosts...

 


WASHINGTON: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has confirmed that Russian military personnel have entered an airbase in Niger that hosts US forces, following a recent decision by Niger’s military rulers to expel US troops from the country.

"Airbase 101 where our forces [are], is a Nigerien air force base that is co-located with an international airport in the capital city. The Russians are in a separate compound and don’t have access to US forces or access to our equipment," Austin told a news conference in Honolulu.

"I’m always focused on the safety and protection of our troops, [and it is] something that we’ll continue to watch. But right now, I don’t see a significant issue here in terms of our force protection," he added.

News of the Russian deployment to the airbase follows after Niger’s military rulers told Washington in March that it must withdraw the nearly 1,000 US military personnel stationed in the country.

Reuters news agency cited a senior US defense official on Thursday, who revealed that Russian troops were present but not mingling with US forces at Airbase 101, located next to Diori Hamani International Airport in Niger’s capital Niamey.


-News Feed

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Local Glob: US confirms Russian troops enter US base in Niger
US confirms Russian troops enter US base in Niger
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