World Bulletin/News Desk
The United States has asked the Madrid government for permission to use the U.S. air bases in Spain in its operation to combat the Ebola crisis in Africa, a Defence Ministry source said on Thursday.
"The U.S. authorities have indeed asked Spain to use their bases in the country as a transit point for logistics and engineers building up field hospitals in Liberia and Sierra Leone," the source told Reuters.
Madrid was set to agree to the request, he said.
"None of the planes will transport patients or people suspected to have contracted Ebola, or who have been in contact with infected people," he said. "Spain will have a right to inspect the planes and passengers."
The United States is deploying up to 4,000 troops to West Africa to help contain the worst outbreak of the disease on record.
A decision is due to be announced on Friday when Spanish Defence Minister Pedro Morenes meets U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Washington.
The United States has four bases in Spain, at Moron de la Frontera near Seville and Rota near Cadiz in southern Spain, Torrejon de Ardoz near Madrid and Zaragoza in the north.
About 4,500 people have died in the outbreak, nearly all of them in West Africa. Spain was thrust into the forefront of the crisis when a Spanish nurse in Madrid became the first person to contract the disease outside West Africa.
British military medics to help
Meanwhile, British military medics have left Britain for West Africa Thursday to aid in the Ebola crisis.
The 91 medics will join the 40 British soldiers already stationed at a field hospital in Sierra Leone, which will eventually be run by the British charity Save the Children.
Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Alison McCourt said in a statement Thursday: “We need to provide sufficient reassurance to healthcare workers that will encourage them to come and help defeat this disease.”
“I firmly believe we can make a significant difference and it will be professionally rewarding for those taking part.”
Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ekim 2014, 15:18