US aircraft land at Souda air base amid heightened tension in Middle East


Four CV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor planes and two C-130 Hercules military cargo planes landed at the military base at Souda in Crete on Thursday, Kathimerini understands.

According to sources, the six aircraft, which flew to Greece from the RAF Mildenhall US air base in England, will be deployed in potential operations to evacuate American nationals or officers from Iraq’s wider region.

The move comes amid heightened fears of a conflict escalation in the Middle East following the assassination of Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force, on Friday.

Analysts say the development underscores the increased strategic significance of Souda given that Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey is in closer proximity to Baghdad.