Russian Troops Enter Air Base Hosting US Soldiers In Post-Coup Niger – ZeroHedge 5/3/24


US diplomats and the Pentagon have been in retreat from the West African nation of Niger, while also scrambling to maintain some influence there, following the junta seizing power in a coup in July 2023. Niger’s military toppled the US-friendly government of President Mohamed Bazoum, who was taken hostage.

Among the first orders of the junta was to tell US troops in the country to pack up their stuff and get out. The US is commonly estimated to have had 1,100 troops in the country. At the same time the junta is displaying its warmer relations with Russia and its forces, declaring an alliance with ‘anti-imperialist’ nations. French troops have already exited the country.

On Friday there are widespread reports that Russian troops have actually entered American military bases, with US troops in the process exiting, but some still present. This is said to already be happening at Air Base 101 in Niamey, the capital city.

Amazingly, there’s some degree of logistical overlap as the Russians pour in and Pentagon personnel are being pressured out:

A senior U.S. defense official told Reuters that the Russian forces are not mingling with the American troops at the base, but were instead using a separate hangar.

The official described the situation as being “not great” but “manageable” in the short-term. Sources similarly told CNN that the Russians and Americans are not operating in the same part of the base, but one said “it is not that big of an area.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has sought to downplay the bizarre situation in statements issued from Hawaii.

The Russians are in a separate compound and don’t have access to U.S. forces or access to our equipment,” Austin said. “I’m always focused on the safety and protection of our troops… But right now, I don’t see a significant issue here in terms of our force protection.”…

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