‘US building two airbases in northern Syria’s Kurdish region’
Story Code : 526060
The second airbase will have dual military and civilian use, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing the Erbil-based news website, BasNews.
A spokesman for US Central Command (CENTCOM) has, however, said the US was not taking control of any airfields in Syria.
The Kurdish news website, quoting an unnamed ‘military source,’ said most of the work on a runway in the town of Rmeilan in Hasaka was complete while a new airbase southeast of Kobani, right across the Turkish border, was being built.
The source told the news website that scores of US experts and technicians were involved in the project.
Syrian Kurds recently said the Rmeilan airstrip was being used by US military helicopters for logistics and deliveries.
The United States sent dozens of special operations troops to northern Syria last year to “advise” forces in their fight against the Daesh (ISIL) militant group.
"Our location and troop strength remains small and in keeping with what has been previously briefed by defense officials," the CENTCOM spokesman said in a statement. "That being said, US forces in Syria are consistently looking for ways to increase efficiency for logistics and personnel recovery support."
The US military ties with the Syrian Kurds have grown deeper despite the concerns of NATO ally Turkey, which views the Syrian Kurdish PYD party as a terrorist group.
US-led airstrikes have been hitting purported ISIL positions in Iraq and Syria for more than a year. The offensive, however, has failed to stop the advances of the extremist militants.