US airbase in Kyrgyzstan to have less troops

Last Updated: Monday, July 4, 2011 - 10:01

Washington: A US airbase in Kyrgyzstan that serves as a key transit centre for war efforts in Afghanistan will lessen the number of its personnel, the base chief said.

The number of permanently-stationed personnel at the base would be reduced gradually, James Jacobson, base commander of the Transit Centre at Manas - formerly the Manas Air Base - was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Up to 50,000 troops are transited in and out of the airbase every month for the US-led war in Afghanistan, he said.

Jacobson said although US President Barack Obama has pledged to pull back 33,000 American troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, the exact date for the withdrawal is unknown.

The airbase at the international airport in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, was launched in December 2001 after the 9/11 terror attack, providing 35 percent of air refuelling for the US-led military mission in Afghanistan.

Under an agreement between the US and Kyrgyz governments, the base would be used by the American military until 2014.


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First Published: Monday, July 4, 2011 - 10:01

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