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A survey in The Times revealed that the CIA used the drones to observe and attack al-Qaeda and Taliban militants near the Pakistan border – Afghanistan.
The Pakistani government and the U.S. government have repeatedly denied the use of a base to launch drones. Pakistan, at the same time asked the U.S. to stop drone attacks in its tribal areas, attacks that resulted in the killing of several civilians.
Now Google Earth images show instead that the drones were repeatedly launched from the base at least Shamsi 3 years ago. The advantage of this base is its strategic location just minutes from Quetta, Taliban outpost, and therefore potential target for U.S. drones.
Currently the Google Earth image shows a completely different situation from that of 2006: there are more drones, new buildings were constructed, an artificial barrier was built around the hangar.
The MQ1 Predator can carry two Hellfire missiles and can fly up to 800km at speeds of over 200 km / h and at an altitude of 7000m, as reported on the site of 'U.S. Air Force www.af.mil.
The News reported that the drones were Global Hawks of, aircraft generally used for reconnaissance, capable of flying up to 36 hours at more than 600 km / h to 18000 meters. Damian Kemp, a publisher of aviation, con il Jane’s Defence Weekly, said that the three drones in the image have a wingspan of about 14 meters.
"The wingspan of an MQ1 Predator is 16.7 m, and therefore what you see may well be based on a Predator. Certainly not RQ-4A Global are the Hawks, which have a wingspan of 35 meters ".
Major General Athar Abbas, admitted as U.S. forces were using Shamsi base for logistical purposes. Pakistan had given permission to the U.S. to use Shamsi bases, Jacobabad and altre due (Pasni and Dalbadin) for the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001.
The image of the drones on Shamsi highlights the extraordinary power, The potential risks and at the same, a tool like Google Earth. Many governments have asked the U.S. giant to remove images which are sensitive targets such as nuclear bases, nuclear reactors and ministry buildings.
Last year, India emerged as the militants who attacked Mumbai used Google Earth to familiarize themselves with the target. The Google Street View, which offers a view of the street level at 360 °, dispute has already gone to meet with the Pentagon for the presence of some images of military bases in America.
Via: Jeremy Page
In 2007 Israel attacked a Syrian nuclear research site located in the desert east of the country. Syria has maintained stocks of chemical weapons, including the deadly gas, for decades. Now the JIR reports, thanks to the images of two satellites (GeoEye and DigitalGlobe), the construction of warehouses and rooms for the creation of chemical material. The buildings have a complex system of ventilation and cooling towers. Barriers were also built to withstand even Scud missiles.
It has always been suspected as Syria has chemical weapons by Iraq at the beginning of the attack bought the U.S. nation. According to JIR work has begun in 2005, at the end of the War in Iraq, and continued last year. It is thought that Al-Safir, west of the country, is one of the major sites involved in the creation and storage of chemical weapons.
“Its presence indicates that Syria wants to develop unconventional weapons to act as a deterrent to conflict with Israel or to increase its strength in the case of each type of conflict ", as stated by Christian LeMière, the publisher of the journal.
President Bashar al-Assad last week said it wanted to normalize relations with the U.S. saying "We are in a period of signals. There is still nothing real ".
Via: Damien McElroy, Esther Affairs Correspondent