Libya: Italy Agrees to Allow Armed U.S. Drone Missions from Sicily – WSJ


The Italian government last month quietly began allowing armed American drones to fly out of the US Naval Air Station Sigonella on the island of Sicily, on military operations against Islamic State in Libya and across North Africa — a breakthrough for Washington after more than a year of negotiations. U.S. drones have been based in Sigonella since 2011 but until last month they were used exclusively on surveillance missions.

The Italians granted permission for the drones to be used only defensively, to protect U.S. special-operations forces in Libya and beyond, the officials said. The permission granted does not include sending drones on an air attacks such as the one conducted last Friday by U.S. air Force F-15Es based in the U.K, against a training camp near Sabratha, Libya, targeting a senior Islamic State operative from Tunisia.