Pentagon repositions some troops in Niger, pulls non-essential personnel

U.S. officials have informed media that the Pentagon is repositioning certain troops and equipment within Niger while also withdrawing a limited number of non-essential personnel “as a precautionary measure,” marking the first significant U.S. military adjustment in Niger since the coup that occurred in July.

The officials refrained from specifying the exact number of personnel departing and the number being relocated within Niger. This movement involves personnel transitioning from Air Base 101 in Niamey, Niger’s capital, to Air Base 201 in Agadez.

Prior to this repositioning, there were 1,100 troops stationed in the West African nation.

“This consolidation represents prudent military planning to safeguard U.S. assets while continuing to address the threat of violent extremism in the region,” one of the officials said.

“This does not change our overall force posture in Niger, and we continue to review all options as we assess a way forward,” the official added.

In the past decade, U.S. troops have been engaged in training Niger’s forces for counter-terrorism operations and have undertaken drone missions targeting Islamic State and an Al Qaeda affiliate in the region.

The internal troop movements within Niger have raised questions about whether they might be associated with preparations in the event of a potential decision by the U.S. for a complete withdrawal of its forces.

“The movement of U.S. assets has been coordinated with and approved by the appropriate authorities,” the official said.

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