US Special Operations Forces have permission to enter Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on a “case-by-case” basis when conducting counter-terrorism operations.
Other sources tell EurasiaNet.org that US Special Forces occasionally cross borders in “hot pursuit” of armed militant groups on the run from Afghanistan. US Special Forces do not maintain a permanent presence in any Central Asian country, but they have the ability to carry out extended missions in the region, a US military source said.
“Periodically we will have military-to-military cooperative events with our Central Asian partners. Any entry into these countries of US Special Forces would be with the permission of the host nation and conducted on a case-by-case basis,” said LTC Michael T. Lawhorn, Chief of Media Relations at US Central Command.
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Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.