A road sign shows the direction of Libya near the border crossing at Dhiba, Tunisia April 11, 2016. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Reuters: Tunisia confirms U.S. drones over Libyan border, monitor Islamic State
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi has said U.S. surveillance drones are flying over the Tunisian-Libyan border to ward of attacks by Islamic State, after lawmakers called on his government to clarify U.S. reports on such a mission.
In Tunisia, any U.S. military presence on its soil is a sensitive topic. Opponents say it would be a breach of sovereignty. Last month U.S. government sources said U.S. surveillance drones had begun flying into Libya from a Tunisian air base.
But Essebsi, in a television interview broadcast late on Tuesday, said the measure was needed to avoid cross-border attacks by militants such as an Islamic State assault on the Tunisian town of Ben Guerdan in March.
The drones being used were unarmed, Essebsi said, and in a repeat of previous denials, added there was no U.S. base in Tunisia.
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Update #1: Tunisia president says US drones fly over Libya border (AA)
Update #2: Tunisia: US military is using our military bases (Middle East Monitor)
WNU Editor: I guess the Tunisian government decided that it would be best to come clean right now.