Niger: Russian troops deploy to same base housing US forces

Niger: Russian troops deploy to same base housing US forces

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that Russian troops had deployed to an air base in Niger that also houses US troops, AFP reports. The deployment comes in the wake of the decision by Niger’s military rulers end a military cooperation agreement with the US. Washington has agreed to withdraw its forces, which total around 1,000 personnel. The US had also built a $100 million drone base.

Speaking at a news conference in Hawaii, Austin said the deployment by Russian forces to Air base 101 in the capital Niamey “did not pose significant issue”...

"Air base 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."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not confirm or deny reports of Russians being at the base. Russian military instructors arrived in Niger last month, according to state media. 

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