Rene Mouawad Air Base

Rene Mouawad Air Base

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Rene Mouawad Air Base

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Rene Mouawad Air Base ( Matar ar-Ra'is ash-Shahid Rinih Mu'awwad), formerly and still sometimes known as Kleyate Airport (<big>مطار القليعات</big>, Matar al-Qulay`at), used to be a military-civil joint airport in northern Lebanon, located near the town of Kleyate (also spelled Al Qulay`at, Qulayaat or El Qlaïaat) and 6 km from the Lebanese-Syrian border.


In the early 1960's, the air base was a small airport owned by an oil company, who used small IPC airplanes for transporting its engineers, staff and workers between Lebanon and the Arab countries. In 1966, the Lebanese Army took control of the airport and started expanding and developing its technological capabilities. It later became one of the most modernized air bases in the region. According to an agreement signed by the Lebanese and French republic, a number of Mirage aircraft were supplied to the air force and pilots and technicians were sent to France to continue some courses related to the specified planes. In the beginning of 1968, the military personnel finished their courses abroad and returned to Lebanon, with some pilots and technicians being transferred from Rayak Air Base to the Kleyate base. In April of the same year, two aircraft, flown by Lebanese pilots, arrived to Lebanon and other non-stop flights continued until June 1969.

Later during the Lebanese Civil War period, flights were significantly drawn down and the aircraft...
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