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US fired Hellfire missiles from Kyrgyzstan to kill Al-Qaeda chief Zawahiri: US Media

Ganci is a former American military base in Kyrgyzstan, near the international airport of Bishkek, which remained in use of the US Air Force for years. In 2014, the US handed it over to the Kyrgyz military.

The American Hellfire Missiles which killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri in Kabul were probably laun­ched from Kyrgyzstan, US media reported on Thursday.

The reports asserted the attack was launched from Ganci Airbase, a US transit facility at Manas in northern Kyrgyzstan.

Ganci is a former American military base in Kyrgyzstan, near the international airport of Bishkek, which remained in use of the US Air Force for years. In 2014, the US handed it over to the Kyrgyz military.

The US administration, nonetheless, is not willing to disclose the base from where the missiles were fired and what route they used to hit their target.

The Department of Defence said: “Zawahiri was killed in an over-the-horizon operation in downtown Kabul. Zawahiri was residing there as a guest of the Taliban. The house was struck by two Hellfire missiles in a precision, counterterrorism operation at 6:18am Kabul time on Sunday.

Michael Kugelman, a scholar of South Asian affairs at the Wilson Center, Washington, noted that the drone strike has generated “lots of discussion” in the US on “Pakistan’s possible role” in the raid.

“I wouldn’t overstate its role, but there was no role of Pakistan at all.”

Mr Kugelman focused his attention on two possible forms of support: airspace and intelligence. “The geography doesn’t lie. If this drone was launched from a US base in the Gulf, it wouldn’t be able to fly over Iran. Flying over Central Asia is circuitous and hard to pull off if you’re undertaking a rapid operation,” he wrote.

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