Germany to withdraw some troops from Iraq

Germany to withdraw some troops from Iraq

German contingent standing next to a German air force Airbus A-310 refuelling tanker aircraft at the Al Azraq air base in Jordan. (AFP photo)

Germany will withdraw some of its troops deployed as part of the anti-IS coalition in Iraq, the defence ministry said Tuesday, in the latest fallout over the US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general.

About 30 soldiers stationed in Baghdad and Taji will be moved to Jordan and Kuwait, a defence ministry spokesman told AFP, adding that the withdrawal will "begin shortly".

Germany has deployed about 415 soldiers as part of the anti-IS coalition, with about 120 of its troops stationed in Iraq.

Germany's move came after the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution asking the government to end its agreement with the US-led coalition.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said late Monday the basis for the Germany military presence in Iraq is "that we have an invitation from the Iraqi government and parliament."

"If that is no longer the case... then the legal basis for us to be there is missing. We have to clarify this with those responsible in Baghdad as soon as possible."

Chancellor Angela Merkel, France's President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had in a joint statement on Sunday urged Iraq to not jeopardise a battle against IS jihadists.

"Preserving the (anti-IS) coalition is of great importance in this context. We call on the Iraqi authorities to continue to provide the coalition with the necessary support," they said.


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