Americans have been granted the use of several Pakistani air bases, Pakistan government officials said Thursday.
More than 15 U.S. military aircraft, including C-130 transport planes, arrived over the past two days at a base at Jacobabad, 300 miles northeast of the port city of Karachi.
A Pakistani official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the United States would be allowed to use Pakistani air bases, including Jacobabad, to carry out recovery operations. Also being offered was a base at Pasani, a remote area west of Karachi.
Word that U.S. personnel are on the ground in Pakistan came from Pakistani government spokesman Anwar Mehmood. He said they were not combat forces, and did not provide any details about their numbers.
Pakistan is providing logistical help and intelligence facilities to the United States in the fight against terrorism, Mehmood said, adding that the U.S. personnel would not use Pakistani territory for launching any attack on Afghanistan.
Pakistan's support to the United States is an extremely delicate issue politically for Pakistan's president. In recent weeks, at least five people have died in anti-American, pro-Taliban protests in Pakistan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.