German soldiers stepping off plane in Jordan after relocation from Iraq
Iraq

Germany Withdraws Military Personnel From Iraq

A total of 35 German soldiers have been removed from Iraq.

German soldiers stepping off plane in Jordan after relocation from Iraq

Germany has withdrawn some of its military personnel from Iraq.

Thirty-two German troops deployed to Camp Taji, the base where British soldiers have trained Iraqi security forces, were flown to Jordan's Al-Asrak Air Force Base.

Three soldiers stationed in Baghdad have been moved to Kuwait.

It is understood the remaining German personnel deployed to Iraq are not being moved.

It follows the suspension of a coalition mission to train Iraqi forces, which came after the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last week.

The United States-led coalition, which consists of more than 30 nations, said in a statement last week: "Our first priority is protecting all coalition personnel committed to the defeat of Daesh (IS).

"We are now fully committed to protecting the Iraqi bases that host coalition troops.

"This has limited our capacity to conduct training with partners and to support their operations against Daesh and we have therefore paused these activities, subject to continuous review."

The British Army was among those to have their training role "paused" - around 400 UK soldiers are deployed to three different sites in Iraq - Camp Taji near Baghdad, Union III in Baghdad, and Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The German Ministry of Defence says its troops can "be brought back at any time" if training resumes.

The move of German personnel came after the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution asking the government to end its agreement with the US-led coalition, voting to expel all foreign forces from the country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently joined UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron in European calls for de-escalation in the region.

"The preservation of the coalition is key," they said in a joint statement on Sunday.

"We therefore urge the Iraqi authorities to continue providing the coalition all the necessary support."

Cover image: German soldiers stepping off plane in Jordan after relocation from Iraq (Picture: Bundeswehr).