US withdraws from Iraqi military base

TEHRAN, Jul. 25 (MNA) – The US-led military coalition has handed over a military base south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad to the country’s security forces.

Major General Gerald Strickland, the deputy commander-strategy of US’ Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement on Saturday that the US has turned over its facilities in Besmaya Range Complex to Iraqi security forces, the official Iraqi News Agency reported.

Strickland said he is “working to re-position his forces inside Iraq,” noting that “these military moves were planned long ago in coordination with the government of Iraq.”

The statement said the coalition was "handing over the seventh site this year to Iraqi security forces, as part of an ongoing partnership between the Iraqi forces and the international coalition against ISIL,” praising the crucial role of Iraqi soldiers in the liberation of the strategic northern city of Mosul three years ago.

On Friday afternoon, four Katyusha rockets struck Besmaya base, where Spain had led the training of Iraqi security forces since 2015.

The attack the base caused no casualties, Iraq’s Security Media Cell said in a statement, Al-Monitor reported.

The rockets, which were launched from the al-Dainiyah area in Diyala province, caused some material damage to the base, the military said.

No group claimed immediate responsibility for the rocket attack.

MR/4982465

News Code 161421

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