Italy okays 'protective' US drone strikes from Sicily

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Rome (AFP)

Italy has agreed that US forces can use an airbase in Sicily to launch drone strikes against Islamic State targets in Libya on a case-by-case basis, defence minister Roberta Pinotti said in an interview published Tuesday.

Pinotti told the daily Il Messaggero that any strikes launched from the Sigonella base would be limited to operations required to protect US and allied personnel and assets involved in combatting the Islamic State group in Libya and elsewhere.

She said every strike would be subject to an individual authorisation request to the Italian government and that they would only be used as a "last resort".

She added: "To date the drones have not been used in armed operations and there have been no requests for them to be."