We’ve Spotted a Secret American Drone Base in Jordan

At least six MQ-1 Predator, two MQ-9 Reapers and four other unidentified drones at Jordan’s Muwaffaq airbase on March 4, 2016. PHOTO: WarIsBoring/Airbus Defense and Space imagery

The United States’ second Jordanian UAV site

By George Kaplan | 3 July 2017

WAR IS BORING — Satellite imagery has revealed a previously unreported American drone base in Jordan. Flying from the remote desert air base in the northeastern part of the country, U.S.-built MQ-9 Reaper drones are in a perfect position to monitor and strike targets in Iraq and Syria.

This is the second Reaper base — after Muwaffaq Salti — that we know exists in Jordan.

A review of imagery suggests the drones relocated to the base between November 2014 and January 2015, not long after U.S. forces began targeting Islamic State in Syria. At the time, the terrorist group extended its self-declared caliphate from the north of Aleppo to the south of Baghdad — a territory much larger than the U.S. military and CIA patrolled during previous campaigns in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.

A new air field on May 7, 2017. PHOTO: Digital Globe

Prior to the drone deployment, imagery showed new structures at a fenced-in area on the south side of the runway. It’s possible these additions, which appeared in late 2014, support the new activity at the location. Not long afterward, workers erected a single clamshell shelter on the airfield’s north side parking apron, where space snapshots captured the strike drone parked the following year. […]

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