Germany, Netherlands suspend Iraq training missions

The United States has warned of increasing threats to Western military forces from Iran-allied groups.

Kurdish troops training reuters
Kurdish peshmerga take part in a 2015 training session led by German troops [Azad lashkari/Reuters]

Germany and the Netherlands have suspended their training of Iraqi soldiers, it emerged on Wednesday.

Berlin has about 160 troops in Iraq and Amsterdam has about 50, with both missions based mainly in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region.

After the United States announced the withdrawal of all “non-essential” staff from its embassy in Baghdad, global powers are wary of rising tensions between Washington and Iran.

“The German army has suspended the training,” defence ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff said, adding there was “generally heightened alert, awareness” for soldiers currently operating in the region.

Flosdorff said training may well resume in the next days and there was “no concrete threat” at the moment.

The Dutch defence ministry did not immediately comment, but public broadcaster NOS said the mission had been halted “until further notice”.

France and the Czech Republic said they would continue with their military training activities in Iraq, Reuters News Agency reported.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies