US building air bases in Kurdish controlled area
The United States has nearly finished setting up an air base in Kurdish-controlled northern Syria and was proceeding with the construction of a second base for dual military and civilian use, a Kurdish website said on Sunday.They appear to be for logistic purposes in support of the Kurdish fighters taking on ISIL forces in the area. They will probably also be used by Special ops in connection with missions against ISIL.
A spokesman for U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said, however, the United States was not taking control of any airfields in Syria.
The Erbil-based news website BasNews, quoting a military source in the Kurdish-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), said most of the work on a runway in the oil town of Rmeilan in Hasaka was complete while a new air base southeast of Kobani, straddling the Turkish border, was being constructed.
The source in the U.S.-backed alliance that also includes Arab armed groups told the news portal scores of U.S. experts and technicians were involved in the project.
Syrian Kurdish officials had recently said the Rmeilan airstrip was being used by U.S. military helicopters for logistics and deliveries.
The United States sent dozens of special operations troops to northern Syria last year to advise opposition forces in their fight against the militant group Islamic State. They have also dropped supply munitions to rebels in the province.
A CENTCOM spokesman said any suggestion U.S. forces were in control of any airfields in Syria was incorrect.