The US is opening up a new front against armed groups linked to al-Qaeda in Africa. And Niger is reported to have given permission for US drones to be based in its territory.
This expansion of US drone operations comes at a time of heightened tension in North Africa. France is leading an offensive in Mali against al-Qaeda inspired fighters.
The UN is to investigate the use of drone strikes, at the request of several nations, including Pakistan. Ben Emmerson, a UN special rapporteur, will look into the extent of civilian casualties and the legality of the strikes.