Below are a few excerpts from the article which can be found here Gulf allies say they won't allow U.S. attack on Iran from their territories - International Herald Tribune
On Wednesday, the U.S. Navy wrapped up its largest show of force in the Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, with 15 ships, 125 aircraft and 13,000 sailors in an exercise a few dozen miles off Iran's coast.
The maneuvers were meant to show "the commitment of the U.S. to stability and security in the region," said Rear Admiral Kevin Quinn, commander of Strike Group Three — which includes the USS John C. Stennis.
The United States has close to 40,000 troops in the Gulf, including 25,000 in Kuwait, 3,000 in Bahrain, 1,300 in the United Arab Emirates and a few hundred in Oman and Saudi Arabia, according to figures from the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center.
Gulf Arab nations are increasingly uneasy with the United States' tough stance against Iran, fearing any outbreak of hostilities could bring Iranian retaliation onto them. All lie within distance of Iranian missiles.
Qatar — home to 6,500 U.S. troops and the enormous al-Udeid air base, headquarters of all American air operations in the Middle East — has already said it would not permit an attack on Iran from its soil.
U.A.E- "We have assured the brothers in Iran ... that we are not a party in its dispute with the United States," said United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. "We will not allow any force to use our territories for military, security and espionage activities against Iran."
That could prevent the U.S. Air Force from flying intelligence missions over Iran with its squadron of U-2 and Global Hawk spy planes based at al-Dhafra Air Base near the Emirates capital, Abu Dhabi.
The U.S. Air Force said Wednesday it had not altered air operations in response to Sheik Khalifa's statement.
Air Force Lt. Col. Mike Pierson, based in Qatar, declined to say whether U-2s were flying missions over Iran, but said the U.S. Air Force only operated in international airspace or over countries that had granted permission.
Iran has full diplomatic ties with the Emirates and most Gulf countries, with booming trade and tourism links. As a result, Gulf countries are doing their best to avoid being linked to any potential military clash.
The refusals have precedent: In the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Turkey denied access to Turkish territory, forcing U.S. military planners to adjust their plans and to forgo opening a northern front. The refusal ushered in a tense period in Turkish-American relations.
But on board the USS Stennis Wednesday, the mood was upbeat.
Lieutenant Dennis Cox, who selects weapons for the jets, said it was a busy day of exercises.
"They were flying double hops," he said of air crews. "This is fairly unusual. I could tell by the looks on their faces that they had a big day."
The war games were the first time two U.S. aircraft carriers have operated in the Gulf since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.