A 2004 picture shows US forces training Iraqi police recruits at al-Assad Air Base
A 2004 picture shows US forces training Iraqi police recruits at al-Assad Air Base, west of Baghdad. Iraq said it has taken control of the key air base. © null - AFP/Multi National Force-Iraq
A 2004 picture shows US forces training Iraqi police recruits at al-Assad Air Base
AFP
Last updated: December 7, 2011

Iraq says US hands over key air base

The US army on Wednesday transferred to Iraqi forces a key military base in the western province of Anbar near the border with Jordan and Saudi Arabia, a government official said.

"Today we took control of the Al-Assad air base in Anbar province, one of the most important bases in the country," Hussein al-Assadi, who signed the transfer on behalf of the Iraqi authorities, told AFP.

"Counting Al-Assad, we have received 501 bases and there are only four left (under US control.) These are located in Hilla, Diwaniyah, Basra, and Nasiriyah," he said in reference to four bases south of the capital.

"Al-Assad base was returned to the Iraqi army's (ground) forces but they will be given back to the air force," he said, adding that American forces would leave the base in the "coming days."

The US army could not immediately confirm the transfer, but indicated in a statement that "approximately 8,000 US military and defence department civilian personnel" are still in Iraq.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272