UPDATE 4:00 pm
France will withdraw all stationed troops in Iraq until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Armed Forces Ministry said Wednesday.
“France has taken the decision to repatriate until further notice its personnel deployed in operation Chammal in Iraq,” the ministry said, adding about 100 hundred soldiers were concerned.
The army said it would continue air operations against Islamic State.
The Iraqi military said Wednesday that the French forces within the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) militant group had withdrawn from Iraq, official Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.
US and Israel Seek to Monopolize Arms Sales in Iraq
The French forces have departed from the Iraqi territories, and the international coalition forces have evacuate an Iraqi air base, according to Abdul Karim Khalaf, spokesman for the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces.
The withdrawal was conducted according to agreements with the Iraqi government, Khalaf told INA, without giving further details.
On January 5, the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, just two days after a U.S. drone strike on a convoy at Baghdad airport, which killed Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Hashd Shaabi forces.
France is part of a U.S.-led international coalition tasked with helping the Iraqi security forces in the fight against IS militants by carrying out airstrikes against the IS in Iraq and Syria and providing military equipment and training to the Iraqi forces.