US government approves Italy's request to arm its drones

 The U.S. State Department has approved a longstanding request from Italy to arm its two MQ-9 Reaper drones with Hellfire missiles, laser-guided bombs and other munitions, the US Defense Department announced on Wednesday.
This would be the first effective sale of armed drones approved since the US government established a policy in February for exports of the new type of weapons that have played a key role in US military actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen.
Italy would be only the second country to be approved to buy armed drones after Britain, which has been using them since 2007, according to two US officials who were not authorized to speak publicly.
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