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France to withdraw all troops from Iraq over coronavirus

Army says will continue air operations against Daesh

France will withdraw all troops it has stationed in Iraq until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Armed Forces Ministry said on Wednesday.

“France has taken the decision to repatriate until further notice its personnel deployed in operation Chammal in Iraq,” the ministry said, adding about 100 hundred soldiers were concerned.

The army said it would continue air operations against Daesh.

France will withdraw its contingent of troops from Iraq, mostly trainers to local armed forces, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the chief of staff said on Wednesday.

France has around 200 military personnel working in Iraq either as trainers or in the headquarters of coalition forces in Baghdad.

“In coordination with the Iraqi government, the coalition has decided to adjust its deployments in Iraq and provisionally suspend training activities,” it said in a statement.

The UK defense ministry had already announced some of its troops would come home, citing a “reduced requirement for training” Iraqi security forces.

Iraq’s military had halted all training in early March to minimize the risk of the illness spreading among its forces, including from the US-led coalition helping fight remnants of the Daesh group.

Arab observer

 

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