Pakistan Drone Airstrike Base Vacated by US Forces

All U.S. forces have vacated the Shamsi Air Base in Pakistan.

According to CNN, Islamabad had asked the U.S. to vacate the base by Dec. 11 after a NATO drone attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border on Nov. 26.

The U.S. will also no longer be able to use ground supply routes through Pakistan. Islamabad also decided on Tuesday to pull out of a U.S.-backed meeting planned for next week in Bonn, Germany over Afghanistan.

Pakistani military officials said that 51 American personnel had left the base and that they had taken drone planes and other equipment along with them. Pakistani military has taken over the base.

Voice of America reports that U.S. intelligence experts have said that the withdrawal from the base is unlikely to have a big impact on the drone war in the region because the U.S. can still fly the planes out of Afghanistan.

Shamsi Airbase, located in western Pakistan, was one of two bases that Islamabad had allowed the U.S. to use for its military operations in the area.

The U.S. has been carrying out the drone attacks since 2004 as part of its War on Terrorism campaign against al-Qaida and Taliban militants along the Pakistani-Afghan border.