Italy to allow US armed drones for defense use in Libya

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Italy has agreed to allow U.S. armed drones to take off from an air base in Sicily to defend the coalition force targeting Islamic State group extremists gaining ground in Libya.

An Italian defense ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the government hasn't announced the deal, said Rome and Washington reached agreement last month. Permission will have to be asked of the Italian government each time, on a case-by-case basis, for the drones to take off to defend military personnel at risk during anti-IS air operations in Libya.

Premier Matteo Renzi has said Italy would provide support for an allied coalition including the United States against extremists in Libya. But he has said Italy's military won't participate in airstrikes.