Thursday, June 16, 2011

'US builds secret base in Persian Gulf'

A U.S. Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile

Source: Press TV

The United States is constructing a secret CIA airbase in the Persian Gulf in an attempt to expand Washington's deadly drone war in the region, a report says.

Withholding the exact location of the base at the request of US officials, Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Washington has decided to build the airbase following indications that an anti-American faction may take over Yemen and ban US forces from fighting against al-Qaeda there.

According to the report, the White House has also increased the number of CIA officers in Yemen and stepped up the schedule to construct the drone base, from a two-year timetable to a rushed eight months, following months of political deadlock in Yemen.

US officials have described the moves as precautionary measures taken to face the possibility of al-Qaeda or other anti-American rebel forces gain control of Yemen.

The top US military counterterrorism outfit, the Joint Special Operations Command, and the CIA claim that they have been fighting al-Qaeda elements in the country since 2009 under the permission of the Yemeni government.

The US forces have recently expanded strikes by US armed drones and even war planes.

Officials with Yemen's Defense Ministry have confirmed that the US has been launching drone strikes on a daily basis against the nation in June, with more than 15 confirmed strikes already in the very month.

The deputy governor of Abyan Province said at least 130 people, among them civilians, were killed in US drone attacks.

Analysts believe that Washington is using Yemen's chaos as a cover for the its drone campaign.

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