Expansion of ‘secret’ facility in Iraq suggests closer U.S.-Kurd ties

The picture of involvement clarifies the real issues of sponsored regime change. The question is where does the money come from.

A Kurdish peshmerga fighter takes his position behind a wall on the front line with militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Hussein Malla / AP

Miami Herald
By Mitchell Prothero McClatchy
11 July 2014

IRBIL, Iraq -- A supposedly secret but locally well-known CIA station on the outskirts of Irbil’s airport is undergoing rapid expansion as the United States considers whether to engage in a war against Islamist militants who’ve seized control of half of Iraq in the past month.

Western contractors hired to expand the facility and a local intelligence official confirmed the construction project, which is visible from the main highway linking Irbil to Mosul, the city whose fall June 9 triggered the Islamic State’s sweep through northern and central Iraq. Residents around the airport say they can hear daily what they suspect are American drones taking off and landing at the facility.

Expansion of the facility comes as it seems all but certain that the autonomous Kurdish regional government and the central government in Baghdad, never easy partners, are headed for an irrevocable split _ complicating any U.S. military hopes of coordinating the two entities’ efforts against the Islamic State.

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