US-led coalition in Iraq hands over Basmaya military base

US-led coalition in Iraq hands over Basmaya military base
2 min read
The pullout comes in line with coalition plans to withdraw from bases across Iraq and consolidate in Baghdad and at the Ain al-Asad Airbase in the country's western desert.
The coalition will still assist Iraqi forces with air support and surveillance [Getty]

The United States-led coalition and Iraqi security forces (ISIF) on Saturday conducted a ceremony to officially hand over the Baghdad-Basmaya military base.

It marked the handover of the seventh base transferred to the Iraqi forces this year, as a part of their partnership with the anti-ISIS (Islamic State group) international military coalition.

"The training at Basmaya was responsible for 20% of the Iraqi security forces training since 2014," said Col. Myles B. Caggins III, spokesman for the US-led coalition in Iraq.

"The Iraqi security forces today are better trained and more capable against ISIS because of the expert trainers from Spain, Portugal, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Spain will continue to be part of the global coalition In Iraq."

Activities at Basmaya were primarily led by Spanish forces, who trained nearly 50,000 Iraqi military personnel at the site 45km southeast of Baghdad.

The pullout comes in line with coalition plans to withdraw from bases across Iraq and consolidate in Baghdad and at the Ain al-Asad Airbase in the country's western desert.

The coalition will still assist Iraqi forces with air support and surveillance, but significantly cut back on training and ground operations as the limited withdrawal continues.

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