Wednesday, November 4, 2020

French military announces start of Iraq withdrawal

Broadcaster Europe 1 reports that the French Army has begun withdrawing from Iraq after the Islamic State group had been “defeated”.

The French artillery group was deployed on the Iraqi-Syrian border against the Islamic State (IS) group, “has completed its mission,” said Thursday the spokesman of the French General Staff.

“The Wagram Task Force has completed its mission” conducted as part of the international anti-IS coalition,” said Colonel Patrik Steiger at a press briefing.

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Deployed in Iraq since September 2016 alongside the anti-jihadist coalition, the French artillery has “completed their mission” as part of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

The 150-strong Task Force Wagram, an artillery battle group armed with three Caesar 155 mm howitzers, has supported ground operations in Iraq and Syria.

French Army Caesars participated in the liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Qayarah Forward Base. They then were deployed along the Iraqi-Syrian border, near the Iraqi city of al-Qaim, in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces (FDS) engaged on the ground against IS, who defeated the Iraqi forces.

Lately, their main mission was to prevent ISIS fighters from crossing the Syrian border into Iraq to escape the offensive in the Middle Euphrates River Valley by providing coordinated and lethal artillery fires against the fleeing IS members.

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