Croatia is lending Pentagon its infrastructure, says ministerStaff Writer | January 5, 2018
Damir Krsticevic, Croatia’s Minister of Defence, confirmed that the U.S. military had been permitted to use the country’s infrastructure.
Defense Rijeka airport
The equipment was bound for the Middle East and very likely included weapons and ammunitions for anti-ISIS forces in Syria.
Krsticevic declined to comment directly on the findings of BIRN’s investigation, but added: “We […] are working with our friends and allies […] reasonably, within the framework of cooperation, partnership and friendship.
“Croatia's infrastructure is used, but this infrastructure is used under all international agreements and programmes, and this is something that a partner, ally and friend does.”
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said today that he had no information on the issue.
BIRN identified 14 Pentagon-commissioned cargo flights in the past six months carrying, or probably carrying, Eastern Bloc-style weapons and ammunition to or from Rijeka.
Since April, ten flights have been operated by Pentagon-commissioned air carriers between Rijeka and the US’s airbase in Qatar, Al Udeid Air Base, with the last taking off on September 25.
Each used a specific call-sign CMB given to cargo flights chartered by the Pentagon. Before landing in Rijeka, the planes used a commercial flight number, indicating that the unidentified military cargo was picked up in Croatia. ■