Germany restricts movement of its troops in Iraq following US strike

Germany is restricting the movements of its troops in Iraq following the strike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, a spokesman for the deployment command said from its headquarters outside Berlin on Friday.

The headquarters of the international military coalition combatting Islamic State had issued an order to this effect, covering movements on the ground and in the air, the spokesman said.

Germany has deployed 27 troops in a training capacity to Camp Taji, some 30 kilometres north of Baghdad.

“Nothing has changed in the mission, and we are continuing there as ordered,” the spokesman said, adding that preparations there were proceeding for the next course, which is set to start in mid-January.

A further five German troops are deployed to the headquarters of the anti-Islamic State coalition in Baghdad, and there are around 90 German army soldiers in the Kurdish controlled zone in northern Iraq engaged in training.

The total German contingent for the international deployment against Islamic State currently numbers 415 men and women and is currently being commanded from Jordan, where many of them are stationed.

The Defence Department in Washington confirmed earlier that Soleimani was killed in an attack near Baghdad airport, in what the United States described as “defensive action” strikes.

Soleimani was killed along with with the deputy head of Iraq’s powerful Shiite Hashd Shaabi militia, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes.

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