Iranian Press TV – 2008-07-21 22:42:03
( July 21, 2008) — The United States plans to build a military airport near the northern Iraqi town of Halabja, which borders Iran, Iraqi media reports.
Khadr Karim Mohammad, the mayor of Halajaba, speaking to Aswat al-Iraq news agency on Wednesday, explained how the construction would proceed.
He said the municipality has allocated an estimated 1500 acres of land east of the town for this purpose and provided the necessary maps for the major project.
Meanwhile, an anonymous Iraqi official said the project is likely to be a “cover” for an air base, which could serve the Americans in their military operations in the region.
When asked about the motives of the US in establishing such a large airport so close to the Iranian border, the mayor said that he was not privy to any further details of the project.
However, he did add, “All owners of the lands will be compensated according to the law.”
Another source in the Governorate of Sulaimaniyah noted that the size of the airport indicates it is a large military base “funded by Americans.” The Americans have inspected the allocated land several times, he added.
The official also revealed that a number of US delegations have visited the region frequently since 2003,”They were studying the roads leading to Iran, under the pretext of providing services to the town,” he elaborated.
In an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde in early 2007, Massoud Barzani, the President of the Autonomous Kurdish Government, welcomed the plans on the proviso that there is consensus from the governments in Baghdad and Erbil.
Halabja lies about 11 kilometers from the Iranian borders and it is located in the northern province of Sulaimaniyah which is ruled by Iraq’s Kurdistan regional government.
Press TV – US military base near Iran border?
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