Iraqi forces assume full control of military base in Anbar province

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-20 03:35:07|Editor: huaxia

BAGHDAD, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces on Thursday took over full control of the al-Qaim military base from the U.S.-led coalition forces near the Iraqi border with Syria in the western province of Anbar.

"The Iraqi security forces receive the al-Qaim military base in Anbar province after the international coalition forces withdrew from it with all its military equipment," the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

During a handover ceremony at al-Qaim base, the Iraqi security commanders said that the withdrawal of international coalition forces would not affect the security situation on the border areas with Syria.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi army officer anonymously told Xinhua that the military base used to be used by the forces from the United States, Denmark and Norway, which have shifted to Ayn al-Asad airbase in al-Baghdadi area, some 190 km northwest of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Ayn al-Asad, previously named al-Qadisiyah, is the second largest air base in Iraq which houses the largest number of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support Iraqi forces in battles against the Islamic State, mainly for training and advisory purposes.

The troops were part of the U.S.-led international coalition that has also been conducting air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.