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US reducing surveillance flights in search for missing Nigerian girls

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,The Pentagon,Barack Obama,Ashe Schow,Africa,Nigeria

U.S. surveillance and reconnaissance flights working to find more than 200 missing Nigerian girls are now flying at an “intermittent” rate, according to Reuters.

President Obama announced in May that he would send U.S. troops into Chad to “support the operation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area.”

But now those surveillance flights are being reduced, a senior U.S. defense official told Reuters. The official made clear that this does not mean the U.S. has diminished its support for Nigeria, just that it has moved into “maintenance mode” when it comes to intelligence gathering.

“We had substantial initial coverage for the baseline and we’ve moved into a maintenance mode,” the unnamed official said.

There are still “around the clock” intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations assisting Nigeria in locating the girls, the Pentagon said last Thursday.

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