U.S. Evicted From Shamsi Air Base in Pakistan, Vacating Base That Handled CIA Drone Aircraft By Thursday
Islamabad, Pakistan -
Pakistan has evicted the United States from the Shamsi Airbase in Pakistan following further straining of diplomatic ties and the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers by a CIA unmanned drone aircraft.
The U.S. blamed the deaths on Pakistan saying it was wanting to take action on militants in the area and asked if there were any units nearby, which Pakistan said no and it could not help. However Pakistan blames the U.S. saying incorrect coordinates were given. The U.S. denies this.
Pakistan's feelings were hurt following the killing of Osama bin Laden when Navy SEALs secretly passed into Pakistan and landed at bin Laden's compound and killed him. During the planning and execution of the operation, Pakistan was not notified out of fear that that information would be passed to bin Laden from one of the numerous leaks inside Pakistani Intelligence or the military.
Two large military cargo planes were seen landing, loading containers and then leaving recently; however, neither the U.S. or Pakistan would comment on the flights or their contents.
The Shamsi Airbase was used only for drones that needed to be diverted as a result of weather or mechanical problems and experts say it should not affect U.S. operation of drone aircraft in the area.