Amid growing focus on the US quietly establishing military bases across the Middle East and Northern Africa, reports out of the autonomous Syrian Kurdistan region of Rojava say that US workers have begun construction on a new military airbase in Tel Baidar, 40 km west of Hasakeh.
Though the US doesn’t publicly affirm these bases exist, this would be the third fully-working military airbase in Rojava,as the US had previously built bases in Kobane and Rumailan. The bases are largely being used to fly gear to the Kurdish forces, but also could support some smaller military planes.
Legally speaking, that might be an issue, as the White House has been openly trying to get Congress to grant President Trump unilateral authority to establish bases in both Iraq and Syria, but all signs point to them having already been establishing such bases since the last few months of Obama’s term.
Bases in Syria are even more complicated than those in Iraq, as the Syrian government has never given the US permission to have forces inside their country, let alone to start setting up American bases in the territory of a Kurdish faction whose declaration of autonomy likewise came without any formal negotiations with the government.
While officially the Trump Administration is trying to present everything as very “temporary” and focused on defeating ISIS, the reality is that the US seems to be setting down roots with an eye toward a very long-term stay in the country.