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US-Led Coalition Hands Over Kirkuk Base to Iraqi Security Forces

US-Led Coalition Hands Over Kirkuk Base to Iraqi Security Forces

Monday, 30 March, 2020 - 07:00
US soldiers stand guard during the handover ceremony of Qayyarah Airfield, Iraqi Security Forces, in the south of Mosul, Iraq early Friday, March 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)

The US-led coalition in Iraq withdrew Sunday from a military base in the country's north, military sources told the German news agency on Sunday.

The sources said the operation was completed during a military ceremony held in the presence of Iraqi military officers and Coalition forces operating at the base.

The military base is the third that Iraq has received from the international coalition forces this month.

A few days ago, US troops with the coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq officially handed over the Qayyarah airbase to the Iraqi military as part of their redeployment plan in the country.

Iraq’s news agency, NINA, quoted the Joint Operations Command as saying: "Based on the results of the fruitful dialogues between the Iraqi government and the international coalition, the site that was occupied by the international coalition mission inside the K1 camp in Kirkuk Governorate was returned today to the Iraqi forces after the international coalition withdrew from it, according to its commitment to return the sites it had occupied to the Iraqi forces.”

Meanwhile, the German army announced it would withdraw from Iraq some of its soldiers present in the country as part of the US-led international coalition to fight ISIS, following the COVID-19 pandemic spreads in Middle Eastern countries.

Soldiers who are not essential for ongoing missions on the ground will return to Germany, Bundeswehr commanders confirmed on Sunday. Some troops already landed in Germany on Sunday morning, according to Germany's DPA news agency.

Iraq has 506 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 42 deaths.

Last week, the US-led coalition said it has suspended training of Iraqi forces over coronavirus fears. It said the Coalition is evacuating non-essential staff from Iraq.

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