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US approved Italy's request to arm its drones

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The US State Department on November 4, 2015 approved a longstanding request from Italy to arm its two MQ-9 Reaper drones with Hellfire missiles, laser-guided bombs and other munitions. US officials said yesterday this would be the first sale of armed drones approved since the U.S. 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 the officials who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly ahead of a formal announcement .