Germany is moving some of its military personnel from Iraq to neighboring countries over security concerns, the government told lawmakers, days after the killing of a top Iranian military commander in a U.S. drone strike.
About 30 of the 120 German soldiers in Iraq who mainly train Iraqi security forces will be redeployed to Jordan and Kuwait, the government told parliament in a letter on Monday.
Iraq’s parliament called on Sunday for the foreign troops to leave after Iran’s general, Qassem Soleimani, was killed on Friday in a U.S. drone strike in Iraqi capital Baghdad.
The reduction of German troops was ordered by the U.S.-led joint command for fighting Islamic State, the German government added, pointing out that this would apply mainly to troops in Baghdad and Taji, a district 36.4 km north of Iraqi capital where close to 30 German troops are deployed.
Out of the 120 German soldiers, about 90 are stationed in the Kurdistan Region, north of Iraq.
The German government indicated that the forces could be moved back to Iraq if their training mission resumes.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told public broadcaster ZDF he was concerned about a possible resurgence of Islamic State should foreign troops leave Iraq quickly. “Nobody really wants that,” he said.
PUKmedia / Reuters