Russian Troops Enter US Military Base In Niger Amid Rising Tensions

Russian military personnel have reportedly entered an airbase in Niger, which also houses U.S. troops. This move comes after the junta in Niger ordered the expulsion of U.S. forces.

What Happened: A senior U.S. defense official revealed to Reuters that Russian military personnel have entered Airbase 101 in Niger, where U.S. troops are stationed.

“(The situation) is not great but in the short-term manageable,” the official said.

This comes after the junta in Niger ordered the expulsion of U.S. forces, which had been a crucial partner for the U.S. in its fight against insurgents until a coup last year.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that the Russian forces are not interacting with the U.S. troops but are using a separate hangar at the airbase. This development raises concerns about the future of U.S. installations in the country following the withdrawal.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin downplayed any risk to American troops. “The Russians are in a separate compound and don’t have access to U.S. forces or access to our equipment,” he said.

Why It Matters: The entry of Russian troops into the airbase in Niger comes at a time of heightened tension between the U.S. and Russia, particularly over the conflict in Ukraine. The U.S. has recently accused Russia of using chemical weapons in Ukraine, leading to additional sanctions on Russian entities.

Meanwhile, China’s major banks have halted transactions related to Russia due to concerns over U.S. sanctions, forcing Chinese companies to resort to alternative channels for payments. This has further strained the global geopolitical landscape.

As the U.S. continues to support Ukraine, the Kremlin has warned of a potential “humiliating fiasco,” drawing parallels with Vietnam and Afghanistan. The entry of Russian troops into Niger adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing geopolitical tensions.

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Image Via Shutterstock

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