Secret revealed: CIA operates drone base in Saudi Arabia

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 06, 2013 14:57 hrs

Washington: The CIA conducts lethal drone strikes against al-Qaida militants inside Yemen from a remote base in Saudi Arabia, including the strike that killed the US-born al-Qaida operative Anwar al-Awlaki.

The location of the base was first disclosed by New York Times online on Tuesday night.

Associated Press first reported the construction of the base in June 2011 but withheld the exact location at the request of senior administration officials.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because portions of the military and CIA missions in Yemen are classified.

Any operation by US military or intelligence officials inside Saudi Arabia is politically and religiously sensitive.

al-Qaida and other militant groups have used the Gulf kingdom's close working relationship with US counterterrorism officials to stir internal dissent against the Saudi regime.

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