France will withdraw all 100 troops on duty in Iraq to prevent Covid-19, but will maintain air cover for the coalition.
“France decided to repatriate all troops participating in the Chammal operation in Iraq until further notice,” the French Ministry of Defense yesterday released a statement, but confirmed that air support was not allowed. maintain in the coming time.
General Abdul Karim Khalaf, spokesman for the Iraqi Armed Forces General Staff, later confirmed that all French garrison had left the country.
French soldiers train close-combat for Iraqi soldiers in 2019. Photo: French Ministry of Defense.
Operation Chammal has been conducted by France in Iraq and Syria since 2014 to destroy the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militants, as well as to support the operation of the Iraqi army. The French army deployed fighters from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to strike targets, and sent 100 soldiers to train Iraqi soldiers and Kurdish militias.
He also announced last week that he was withdrawing troops from Iraq in anticipation of Covid-19. “The pandemic has reduced the demand for training of Iraqi security forces, the coalition against IS and NATO has also suspended many activities in the country,” the Ministry of Defense said.
Covid-19 has appeared in nearly 200 countries and territories, causing more than 21,000 deaths out of a total of more than 460,000. Iraq has recorded 346 cases of nCoV, of which 29 have died.
Vu Anh (Follow Sputnik)