German government denies U.S. operated drone strikes via its German air base and German involvement
BERLIN – The German government has denied reports that the U.S. used their air force base in the German state of Rhineland Palatinate for drone attacks in Africa.
German Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth has said that "It should be noted that the United States of America does not coordinate its drone operations in Africa with Germany and there are no activities of German Armed Forces for coordination of such missions."
Speaking to a German newspaper Sueddeutsche, Brandon Bryant, an ex-drone pilot from the U.S. armed forces said "Germany is essential for all American drone operations worldwide. Without Air Force Base "Ramstein" in Germany, none of these operations would be possible."
Bryant also noted that because of the large distance between the areas of operation in the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan signals from the drones must be redirected through Germany, via satellite and ground wire connection.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticized the U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and have called into question the legality of the U.S. drone program.
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