A group of 10 American military experts arrived in Dushanbe Wednesday, Russian military sources report. According to the sources, the group comprises air support controllers, signalmen, and rescue experts. The sources said that the Americans would study the possibility of using three Tajik air bases to ship humanitarian aid to the Afghan population and carry out air strikes against terrorist camps in Afghanistan. The agreement that the Tajik government would allow the U.S. to use its air bases was reached at the meeting between Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in early November. The military sources believe that the U.S. Air Force is especially interested in the base in Kulyab, which is located 200 km to the east of Dushanbe, as aircraft of all types can land there.
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