Monday, September 10, 2007


US plans military base near Iran

Al=Jazeera - The Pentagon plans to build a military base near the Iran-Iraq border, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper quoted a senior US army commander as saying that the base will be used to try and prevent the flow of weapons by Shia fighters into Iraq.

Major-General Rick Lynch, the commander of the US army’s 3rd Infantry Division, said that the Pentagon also plans to build checkpoints on major highways leading from the Iranian border to Baghdad.

X-ray machines will be installed, as well as explosive-detecting sensors, the paper reported.

Lynch also told the Journal that "we've got a major problem with Iranian munitions streaming into Iraq. This Iranian interference is troubling and we have to stop it".

The base will be located about four miles from the Iranian border and will be used for at least two years.



US officials told the paper that it is unclear whether it will be among the small number of facilities that would remain in Iraq after any future withdrawal from the US military.

The report comes on the same day as General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq and Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Iraq, present a report to the US congress on the war.

Jonathan Withington, a Pentagon spokesman, told Reuters news agency that he could not comment on the specifics of the planned base, but said that "coalition and Iraqi partners will continue to put pressure on the enemy, including disruptions of any supply lines, in an effort to reduce violence and to protect the Iraqi people".

Major Toby Logsdon, a US officer overseeing the project, said the new base will have living quarters for at least 200 soldiers, who could arrive in November.

Logsdon said: "Iran will know this is here - they will have to rethink how they do things, and the smugglers will have to rethink how they do things."