US seeks to expand its military presence in Greece

ISTANBUL (AA) – The U.S. wants to expand its presence in Greece by increasing the use of military bases and ports in the country, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

“If you look at geography, and you look at current operations in Libya, and you look at current operations in Syria, you look at potential other operations in the eastern Mediterranean, the geography of Greece and the opportunities here are pretty significant,” Gen. Joseph Dunford was quoted as saying by the Military Times, a U.S.-based online magazine.

Dunford was in the Greek capital Athens on Tuesday to meet Greek Chief of Defense, Adm. Evangelos Apostolakis.

According to the report, no specific bases have been identified but several options are being evaluated by the Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, head of U.S. European Command and NATO’s supreme allied commander.

“Those are discussions that Gen. Scap and others are having right now, as they look around the region in terms of where they want to put forces within the next five to 10 years,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed official.

Dunford said that the U.S. will continue using Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey. The U.S. interest in Greek bases was not related to the U.S.-Turkey standoff, he added.