India has denied as “factually incorrect” a report that US special forces were stationed in the country as part of counter-terrorism cooperation.
Media reports quoted top Pentagon commander Admiral Robert Willard as telling a Congressional hearing on Thursday that US special forces teams were stationed in five South Asian countries, including India and Sri Lanka.
“The report is factually incorrect in so far as the reference to India is concerned,” Indian defence ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said in a statement late on Friday.
“US special forces teams have never been stationed in India in the past, nor are such teams stationed in the country presently,” Kar added.
The two democracies, however, have a regular military exchange programme with cross visits for training and joint drills by soldiers of one country to another.
In Colombo, the US embassy on Saturday denied stationing special forces in Sri Lanka.
“References in the press to US special forces being stationed in Sri Lanka are misleading,” the embassy said in a statement.
However, it said members of the US military were assigned to work in the embassy in Colombo “as part of the bilateral engagement between the United States and Sri Lanka.”
The US admiral had been quoted as saying that the move to station US forces in the South Asian countries was part of the counter-terrorism cooperation with these nations.
[Image via Shutterstock.com.]