Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraq is opposed to the rumored United States intentions to transfer its military base in Turkey to Kurdish areas in Iraq or Syria, an Iraqi government source was quoted saying on Tuesday.
Iraqi website Almaalomah quoted the source saying that “the Iraqi government has received with astonishment the news about U.S. plans to relocate its military base in Turkey’s Incirlik to Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdish regions in Syria”.
According to the source, “Baghdad will reject any U.S. step in that direction and will not accept U.S. bases on its soil”.
Benhas Anbari, an Israeli Middle East expert, has been recently quoted saying that the United States was earnestly considering the relocation of the Angerlick base to Iraqi or Syrian Kurdish areas.
The U.S. says it maintains slightly above 5000 troops in Iraq for assistance and training purposes.
An Iraqi government spokesperson was quoted a few weeks ago saying U.S. troops would be logically cut down after ending their mission supporting Iraqi forces in their campaign against Islamic State militants. Coalition and Pentagon commanders denied intentions to downscale troops’ numbers.
Iraq declared victory over the Islamic state in December, ending three years of operations against the extremist group which had occupied a third of the country’s territories.
The construction of the Incirlik airbase was concluded in 1955, with Ankara and Washington signing an agreement for the joint use of the facility. It has been used for several military operations over the past decades, and has served as a strategic storage area for the U.S. military.