x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

CIA operating a drone base in Saudi Arabia

The CIA conducts lethal drone strikes against Al Qaeda militants inside Yemen from a remote base in Saudi Arabia,.

WASHINGTON // The CIA conducts lethal drone strikes against Al Qaeda militants – including the strike that killed the US-born Al Qaeda operative Anwar Al Awlaki – inside Yemen from a remote base in Saudi Arabia.

The location of the base was first disclosed by The New York Times online on Tuesday night.

The Associated Press first reported the construction of the base in June 2011 but withheld the exact location at the request of senior administration officials, who requested anonymity because portions of the military and CIA missions in Yemen are classified.

Any operation by US military or intelligence officials inside Saudi Arabia is politically and religiously sensitive. Al Qaeda and other militant groups have used the kingdom's close working relationship with US counterterrorism officials to stir internal dissent against the Saudi government.