US to build underground hangar in Iraq
United States Air Force F-16 jet fighters (file photo)
The United States is planning to set up an underground hangar complex in Iraq despite the deadline approaching for the withdrawal of American troops from the country, Press TV reports.
The US military has moved 150 aircraft to Iraq's western Anbar province from a military base in Qatar, as US military officials and an Iraqi contractor have reportedly agreed to build an underground hangar complex in Anbar for US aircraft.
This comes despite a Friday announcement by US President Barack Obama who reiterated that there would be a full withdrawal from Iraq by the end of the year, as agreed to in a security pact signed with Baghdad under former US President George W. Bush.
Under the 2008 security deal signed between Washington and Baghdad, all US forces and military equipment must be pulled out of Iraq by the end of 2011.
“After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over,” Obama told reporters after a private video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The US president offered assurances that the two leaders had agreed on the decision.
But American firms will keep thousands of contractors in the country - even after the slated withdrawal of US troops.
The US and its allies invaded Iraq in 2003 under the pretext that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction. However, no such weapons were found in the country.