u.s. base planned at iran-iraq border

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US forces plan to build a military base on Iraq’s border with Iran to better control what they say is an undercover flow of Iranian weapons and fighters, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

“We’ve got a major problem with Iranian munitions streaming into Iraq,” Major General Rick Lynch, the commander of US army forces in central Iraq, told the Journal.

“This Iranian interference is troubling and we have to stop it.”

The base, with living quarters for some 200 soldiers, will be built six kilometers (four miles) from the Iranian border and will likely be completed by November, Major Toby Logsdon, the US officer overseeing the project, told the Journal, without giving a location.

The US military also plans to install X-ray machines and explosives-detecting sensors at the Zurbatiya border crossing, the main crossing between Iran and Iraq.

Also planned are six fortified checkpoints on the major highways leading from the Iranian border to Baghdad, to be manned by soldiers from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, according to the Journal.

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