By Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three U.S. troopers have been killed and dozens wounded after a drone hit a navy outpost in Jordan, often known as Tower 22, on Sunday. The placement is only one of many bases the U.S. has within the Center East.
Here’s what we all know concerning the U.S. navy presence within the Center East:
WHERE ARE U.S. BASES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The U.S. has operated bases across the Center East for many years. At its peak, there have been greater than 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2011 and over 160,000 personnel in Iraq in 2007.
Whereas the quantity is way decrease after withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, there are nonetheless about 30,000 U.S. troops scattered throughout the area. As well as, for the reason that Israel-Gaza warfare started in October, the U.S. has briefly despatched hundreds of further troops within the area, together with on warships.
The biggest U.S. base within the Center East is positioned in Qatar, often known as Al Udeid Air Base and in-built 1996. Different nations the place the U.S. has a presence embody Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The U.S. has roughly 900 troops in Syria, in small bases like al Omar Oil discipline and al-Shaddadi principally within the northeast of the nation. There’s a small outpost close to the county’s border with Iraq and Jordan, often known as the Al Tanf garrison.
There are 2,500 personnel in Iraq, unfold round amenities like Union III and Ain al-Asad air base, although talks are ongoing about the way forward for these troops.
WHY ARE U.S. TROOPS STATIONED IN THE REGION?
U.S. troops are stationed within the Center East for various causes and apart from Syria, they’re there with the permission of every nation’s authorities.
In some nations like Iraq and Syria, U.S. troops are there to struggle in opposition to Islamic State militants and are additionally serving to advise native forces. However they’ve come below assault from Iran-backed forces over the previous a number of years and have taken motion in opposition to them.
Jordan, a key U.S. ally within the area, has a whole bunch of U.S. trainers and so they maintain in depth workouts all year long.
In different instances, like in Qatar and the UAE, U.S. troops have a presence to reassure allies, perform coaching and are used as wanted in operations within the area.
ARE THERE FOREIGN MILITARY BASES IN THE U.S.?
Whereas Washington’s allies generally ship their troops to coach or work with U.S. troops, there aren’t any international navy bases contained in the U.S.
Tower 22, the place Sunday’s drone assault occurred, killing three Military Reserve troopers, holds a strategically essential location in Jordan, on the most northeastern level the place the nation’s borders meet Syria and Iraq.
Particularly, Tower 22 is close to Al Tanf garrison, which is positioned throughout the border in Syria, and which homes a small variety of U.S. troops. Tanf had been key within the struggle in opposition to Islamic State and has assumed a job as a part of a U.S. technique to comprise Iran’s navy build-up in japanese Syria.
DO U.S. BASES IN THE REGION GET ATTACKED OFTEN?
U.S. bases are extremely guarded amenities, together with with air protection techniques to guard in opposition to missiles or drones. Services in nations like Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait will not be normally attacked.
However U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria have come below frequent assault in recent times. Since simply October 7, U.S. troops have been attacked greater than 160 occasions by Iran-backed militia, injuring about 80 troops, even previous to Sunday’s assault on Tower 22, which has injured round 40 extra.
A brand new wave of violence within the Center East have erupted since Oct. 7 when Palestinian Islamist Hamas fighters burst into Israel and killed 1,200 Israelis and took 253 others hostage. In response, Israel unleashed a navy marketing campaign that left greater than 26,000 lifeless and induced a extreme humanitarian disaster within the densely-populated Gaza strip.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; Enhancing by Humeyra Pamuk)
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