The United States plans to maintain its military
presence in Qatar after the war in Iraq.
Officials said U.S. Central Command will remain in the A-Sayliyah base
in Qatar indefinitely. The base houses a command and control center that has
directed the ground war in Iraq.
The base contains advanced telecommunication and logistical facilities
and manages operations throughout the area of Central Command. The area
comprises more than 25 countries in the Gulf region and the Middle East.
Last year, Qatar and the United States signed a military cooperation
agreement that envisioned a long-term U.S. presence in the emirate, Middle East Newsline reported.
Central Command has reduced operations at A-Sayliyah. The command has
ended its daily briefings to the foreign media and many journalists and
television crews have left the base.
The U.S. Army completed a pre-positioning facility at A-Sayliyah in 2000
in a $10 million project. The facility, which contains storage facilities
and warehouses, can equip an amored brigade and is regarded as the largest
single U.S. pre-positioning site in the world.
The United States began construction of the base in 1996. A-Sayliyah
also includes a housing complex for more than 300 officers.