Germany: Berlin suspends military training in Iraq amid US-Iran tensions

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Germany has suspended its military training in Iraq amid rising tensions between neighbouring Iran and the US, German Defence Ministry Spokesperson Jens Flosdorff said at a federal press conference (BPK) in Berlin on Wednesday.

Flosdorff said that the training “is suspended,” adding that Germany “orienting itself toward our partner countries, who have taken this step.”

He noted that for soldiers operating in the country there was a “generally heightened alertness, a heightened awareness”; however, he also noted that training may resume in the coming days.

According to German Foreign Office Spokesperson Maria Adebahr, Berlin had “no concrete indications” of its own of any threats of attacks on its facilities there.

Commenting on the Iran nuclear dispute, Adebahr said that German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels on Monday, warning against a “military escalation” and reaffirming Germany’s position in favour of the preservation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Germany currently has roughly 160 soldiers deployed in Iraq, 60 of whom are stationed at a base north of Baghdad where they are helping to train Iraqi soldiers, while the rest of the German troops are taking part in operations against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL/ISIS).

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