France pulling troops from Iraq over coronavirus

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Paris has around 200 experts, trainers and soldiers on the ground to support operations against ISIS

March 26, 2020

March 26, 2020

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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 defence 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 minimise the risk of the illness spreading among its forces, including from the US-led coalition helping fight remnants ISIS.

Updated: March 26, 2020 02:44 PM

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