US Air Forces Central Command just posted this video taken from a MQ-1 Predator of the last convoys crossing the border out of Iraq December 17, 2011, at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
US Air Forces Central Command provided more than 14 Air Force and US Navy aircraft to ensure safe passage for more than 125 vehicles filled with Soldiers and Airmen as they make the historic trek across the border.
Baghdad has given Washington permission to keep flying Predators on surveillance missions over northern Iraq, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Friday. The unmanned aircraft, which operate out of Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, are being used to look for fighters from the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK.
Beyond that, after December 31, when the pullout must legally be complete, drones — armed and otherwise — will be in reserve at the US’ constellation of bases near Iraq in Persian Gulf states.
“Any operation of any aircraft of any type into the sovereign airspace over Iraq after that date would need to comply with Iraqi laws and policies,” Capt. Melissa Milner, chief spokeswoman for the U.S. Air Force in the Middle East, told Danger Room in October. “We are not aware of any special arrangements or exceptions for any aircraft, and are not aware of any ongoing discussions with [the Iraqi defense ministry] on the matter.”