Is This the Secret U.S. Drone Base in Saudi Arabia?


Noah Shachtman at Wired Magazine may have found the US drone base in Saudi Arabia on Bing Maps. Shachtman writes:

…the base’s hangars bear a remarkable resemblance to similar structures found on other American drone outposts. And its remote location — dozens of miles from the nearest highway, and farther still to the nearest town – suggests that this may be more than the average civilian airstrip.

As Shachtman reports, the killing of American citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki in September 2011 was launched from this very base. This would not be the first time that satellite imagery contributed to the discovery of covert drone bases, either:

In 2009, for instance, Sen. Diane Feinstein accidentally revealed that the U.S. was flying its robotic aircraft from Pakistani soil. The News of Pakistan quickly dug through Google Earth’s archives to find Predator drones sitting on a runway not far from the Jacobabad Air Base in Pakistan – one of five airfields in the country used for unmanned attacks. The pictures proved that the Pakistani officials were actively participating in the American drone campaign, despite their public condemnation of the strikes [emphasis own].

I wrote yesterday about the complicated situation of Pakistan’s tacit and not-so-tacit complicity with US drone strikes in the Pakistani FATA.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s