AMERICAN military cargo planes have arrived in Spain in apparent anticipation of conflict following the US’s recent attacks on Iran.
The military bases of Rota and Moron de la Frontera have seen dozens of large cargo aircraft arrive in the largest deployment since the 2003 Gulf War.
Residents of the small coastal town of Rota have reported a large increase of traffic at the nearby base with large C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft and KC-10A refuelling aircraft arriving carrying personnel and military equipment, vehicles and smaller aircraft and helicopters.
The fresh presence almost simultaneously coincided with the US attacks in Iran which killed the head of the elite Quds Force of Iran, Qasem Soleimani.
The move has prompted escalated tension between Iran and the US and back and forth threats have been slung over the past days from both sides, leading to worldwide concern that conflict is imminent.
The move comes as the US requested to permanently increase its presence at the base back in December.
The Naval base at Rota is currently home to a fleet of US Destroyer vessels that were placed there as part of the NATO missile shield in 2011 to provide a forward mobility base in the event of an attack from Iran.
US President Donald Trump issued a request to double the personnel and increase the number of warships docked at the base by 50%.
With recent tensions worldwide, the situation could provide the first test for the newly formed coalition government in Spain, with left-leaning Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and potential co-leader, far left Podemos MP Pablo Iglesias forced to consider the proposal perhaps earlier than planned.
The situation could be made even more difficult with future vice Prime Minister Iglesias strongly opposing the bases and campaigning for their closure.
This, along with Sanchez’s new relations with far right Catalan parties since the elections and the Podemos’s financial links to Iran, the Spanish government could be put in a very tough diplomatical position if conflict was to occur.