Iraq expands airbase near borders with Syria, likely to receive more U.S. troops: Officer

Iraqi-Jordanian borders.

Baghdad ( Iraq has started expanding an airbase in Anbar province, a senior Iraqi army office was quoted saying on Tuesday, adding that the expansion is likely to receive U.S. troops.

Speaking to the London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper, the office said construction work as well as expansion at Ain al-Assad base have started on an area of several kilometers. “The expansion included the northern and western parts of the airbase.”

The expansion, according to the source, “takes place under strict security measures.” The officer did not clarify the real reasons behind the expansion, saying it’s likely “to receive more troops in the base, located in a desert region, which still has havens of Islamic State members.”

The source did not rule out that the expansion of the military base could be “to receive U.S. troops, especially with news on surveillance operations by the U.S. forces near Iraqi-Syrian borders.”

On Saturday, the National Iraqi News Agency, the Iraqi forces tightened their grip on the country’s borders with Syria to curb infiltration of terrorists between the two countries. An iron fence was set up on the Iraqi-Syrian borders where surveillance cameras will be installed to control the borderline.

Iraqi warplanes launched, last month, a new wave of air raids against outposts of the Islamic State group in Syria.

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