Analysts say the use of armed Reaper drones on the continent of Africa signals a shift in policy for the United States.
They were an essential part of the military arsenal during the Obama years. However, their use was restricted to the Middle East – countries like Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria.
What is new is that, with this latest announcement, the shift is now focusing on Africa as well.
Jean-Marc Rickli is head of Global Risk for the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.
He says the perception is that the threat from militants is spreading.
“ISIS is no longer centrally located and some of the imperatives will probably move to Asia, Europe and Africa. Hence the fight will be more global and it means for Western countries they will have to develop and spread their military capabilities according to where these groups are emerging.”