The U.S. has built a 1.6 million square meter military air base in Kobani, Syria, the size of 235 football fields, stating that it will serve as the U.S. military's most important logistics base, German daily Bild reported last week.
Emphasizing that the base was kept secret, the article says that media outlets are not allowed to film the base and are restricted from filming it from the outside from a distance.
When asked about the purpose of the base, the international counter-Daesh operation Inherent Resolve answered by saying that in order to guarantee operational safety, the coalition does not disclose any details concerning how the Kobani airfield is used, the article said. A military spokesperson, however, told Bild that the mission of this base is to support the coalition's counter-Daesh operations.
The article also pointed at the inconsistencies within satellite images. According to the article, while Google Maps satellite images from July 2017 depict raw desert, a TERRA server picture taken in May 2017 clearly shows a complete air base, which, the article questioned whether this non-visibility of the base is deliberate or not.
The military spokesman further told Bild that the base is "designed for C-130s and C-17s landing there," although right now, pictures and videos only show the 30-meter propeller transport aircraft C-130 Hercules at the base.
"Housing units for hundreds of soldiers, a vehicle fleet including more than 40 military vehicles, and structures for transport aircraft and the base's defense – this new air force base is a mighty U.S. army fortress in the middle of the area held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)," the article added.
Suggesting that the scope of the base indicates that the U.S. has long-term plans in Syria such as a quasi-mandate policy, the article further emphasized that the base may lead to tensions with Ankara since it is only 27 kilometers away from the Turkish border.
Turkey, a key NATO ally bordering Syria, has repeatedly objected to using the SDF for the Raqqa offensive as the People's Protection Units (YPG), the militia of the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD), forms the backbone of. Turkey says the presence of the YPG will further alienate Arab tribes in the region, and advocates the use of local forces trained and equipped by the anti-Daesh coalition.
Speaking to an SDF militant, the article reports that the military facility was primarily built due to concerns about potential Turkish military actions against the SDF, adding that "the base will be used for SDF operations against all enemies."
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