Iraq establishes base in North to support Syria, Turkey borders

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

BAGHDAD Iraq has opened a military base meant to bolster security along the borders with Syria and Turkey.

Iraq has launched Al Kasik Military Training Base on July 21 and plans to deploy more than 12,000 soldiers at the facility. The base near Mosul was meant to house the Iraqi Army's 3rd Division, Middle East Newsline reported.

"Mosul is the center of northern Iraq, so it makes sense to have the base here," Maj. Gen. Khorshed Salim Al Dosaky, commander of the 3rd Division, said. "We are also located close to the Syrian and Turkish borders to provide assistance there."

Officials said the base will allow the Iraqi military to work with security forces to help impose control over northern Iraq. The base is located 50 kilometers northwest of Mosul and soldiers will cooperate with the Iraqi National Guard and the Iraqi Police.

The base was completed over the last six months with help from the United States. Construction began under the Saddam Hussein regime nearly 20 years ago.

Officials said more than 4,000 Iraqis were employed to refurbish barracks, construct a dining facility, install sewer and water pipes and generate electricity for the base. They said a water treatment plant would be completed to ensure the quality of the water for the facility.

"In the next year we will reach stability," Al Dosaky said. "With these new facilities I will be able to produce many well-trained troops."

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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