AFRICOM’s deputy spokesperson Vince Crawley said in a comment that any rumours about US military bases in Algeria are untrue.

Here is the text of the comment in full, as posted in the previous entry:

I just ran across this discussion on your blog.

There are some media reports of a deal between Algeria and the U.S. for temporary use of bases in Algeria. These reports aren’t accurate.

For more info, I invite you to read AFRICOM commander General William Ward’s news conference transcript from December 3 in Algiers, posted on the http://www.africom.mil website: http://bit.ly/5ouvZX

Quotes include:

“I did not come here with any request to put troops in the Sahel to combat terrorism and I have no plans to do so.”

“[T]here are no plans to conduct that type of training or exercises here in Algeria.”

The United States is not conducting any combat operations in the Sahel, to include Algeria or any of its neighboring countries.

Respectfully,

Vince Crawley
U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs
http://www.africom.mil

So far the reasons given by Zitout and the Quds Press story do not stand up to scrutiny (see reasoning in previous post). It is unclear whether Zitout’s claim is pure speculation or inside knowledge.  What is mysterious is not only whether a base has been agreed or not, it is also what the current Algerian authorities will gain from the deal. Recall that ABC news broadcasted a report about American forces training Algerian special forces in the Sahara earlier this year (video). Whether this limited American military presence extended beyond, or will extend beyond what is present in the report  is unclear.

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