Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kurdish Official: The U.S. is Opening an Air Base Near Erbil

Kurdistan Region – The United States is opening an air base in the Kurdistan Region, and planes based there will carry out surveillance missions but not bombing raids, a Kurdish official said.
Helgurd Hekmat, spokesman for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting on the ground against ISIS, said that US military planes and personnel would be deployed at the new base, which was still under construction.
The US stationed several Black Hawk helicopters in 
Erbil this month. AFP photo.
“The base Is close to Erbil,” he told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, without giving more details. "The aircraft will carry out surveillance," he added, “but those on bombing missions will not take off from the new base."
Hekmat said the base – once ready – would be used by all countries that are part of the US-led coalition arrayed against insurgents fighting under the Islamic State (ISIS) banner.
US warplanes have been pounding ISIS positions in Iraq since early August, with some Western and Arab states more recently taking part.
In a news briefing in Washington on Tuesday, Pentagon Spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby denied that the US had any military bases in Erbil.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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