German military reduces its number in Iraq amid fears of reprisals for US killing Qasem Soleimani
A number of the German troops present in Iraq for training will be withdrawn from the country due to tension in the region and transferred to Jordan and Kuwait, according to a spokesman for the German Ministry of Defense.
The German contingent formed by about thirty military personnel based in Baghdad and Taji, north of the Iraqi capital, will be “provisionally reduced” and the concerned soldiers transferred to Jordan and Kuwait, Iraq’s border countries.
“These troops can be brought back at any time if the training in Iraq is to resume,” the statement added.
“The safety of our soldiers remains a top priority,” the German military said in a statement.
In addition to the military present near Baghdad, Germany deployed troops in Iraqi Kurdistan to train local security forces.
In total, Germany has about 120 soldiers in Iraq, integrated into the international coalition against the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) led by the United States.
The German Bundeswehr supports regional efforts against Islamic State in Iraq, providing military training, Tornado reconnaissance jets and tanker aircraft for air-to-air refueling. Most of Germany’s soldiers in Iraq are stationed in the northern Kurdish region of the country, according to DW.
Slovakia, which participates in the NATO force that trains Iraqi security forces to fight the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, announced on Tuesday that it has relocated its seven soldiers outside the country due to the current tension in the region after the death of the Iranian general, who was killed in by missile strike by the United States.
This was announced in a statement by Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, while announcing “further measures” to be taken in contact with NATO allies.