World: German, Dutch military suspend training operations in Iraq amid US-Iran tensions - PressFrom - US
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WorldGerman, Dutch military suspend training operations in Iraq amid US-Iran tensions

19:10  15 may  2019
19:10  15 may  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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The German army suspended its training programs for Iraqi troops due to increasing tensions in the region, the Defense Ministry said. Some 60 German soldiers are involved in training the Iraqi military in Baghdad, and around 100 more are stationed in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Also on Wednesday, Germany , which has 160 soldiers in Iraq , suspended military training operations , citing increasing regional tensions . Both the United States and Iran have said they do not want war, and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday he had indications “things

German, Dutch military suspend training operations in Iraq amid US-Iran tensions© The Associated Press In this Thursday, May 9, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Navy, Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class Jason Caldwell, assigned to the "Jolly Rogers" of Strike Fighter Squadron 103, observes sunrise on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln while transiting the Suez Canal in Egypt. The aircraft carrier and its strike group are deploying to the Persian Gulf on orders from the White House to respond to an unspecified threat from Iran. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amber Smalley, U.S. Navy via AP)

BERLIN, May 15 (Reuters) - Germany and the Netherlands said on Wednesday they were suspending military training operations in Iraq as the United States warned of increased threats from Iran-backed forces amid an escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran.

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Germany has suspended the training of Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq amid concerns about growing tensions in Kirkuk, officials confirmed Monday. "The military training activities have been temporarily suspended ," a German Defense Ministry spokeswoman told Anadolu Agency

The Dutch - German military cooperation is seen as an example for setting up a European defense union This requires the Bundeswehr to take part in operations outside of the borders of Germany , as In support of Allied stabilization efforts in Iraq , the Bundeswehr is also training the new Iraqi

A German defense ministry spokesman said Berlin had no indications of its own of any impending attacks on Western interests by Iran and said the training programs could resume in the coming days.

A Dutch government source also announced a suspension of military training operations, citing an unspecified security threat.

Germany has 160 soldiers involved in training Iraqi forces trying to contain Islamic State militants. The Netherlands has 169 military and civilian personnel in Iraq, including about 50 in Erbil, where they are helping to train Kurdish troops.

Dutch news agency ANP said Dutch forces had been ordered to remain indoors since Sunday.

Earlier on Wednesday the U.S. State Department ordered the pullout of some employees from both its embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil.

The order came as tensions build up between the United States and Iran. Washington has applied new sanctions pressure on Tehran and sent additional forces to the Middle East, saying there is an increased threat from Iran to U.S. interests there.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel and Sabine Siebold Additional reporting by Anthony Deutsch and Toby Sterling in Amsterdam Editing by Madeline Chambers and Gareth Jones)

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