By Toni C. Eastwood •
Published: 09 Jan 2020 • 12:38
Given recent events in the middle east involving the United States and Iran, many countries that have the potential to be involved to this conflict are worried. Spain is one of these countries.
The indication that Spain is one of the countries that are worried about conflict in the Middle East has been made quite evident, acting deputy Prime Minister of Spain Carman Calvo announced that Spain has removed some of its troops from Iraq.
“Those who were in riskier positions have left for Kuwait,” Calvo told state broadcaster RTVE. “There is only a reduced number left there.”
The decision comes as NATO announced it would move some of its military training personnel out of Iraq amid fears of a regional conflagration.
Spain has 550 more troops at the “Gran Capitán” base in Besmayah
The Spanish Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that “only three of the 13 Spanish soldiers” that were in Baghdad remain there. In addition to the 13 soldiers in Baghdad, Spain has 550 more troops at the “Gran Capitán” base in Besmayah, southeast of the Iraqi capital.
Carmen Calvo, the caretaker deputy prime minister, confirmed that the 10 Spanish soldiers had been relocated on Wednesday after Iran launched 22 ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq – the Al Asad air base, in the west of the country, and one in Irbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan. “Only three remain,” Calvo said during an interview on a breakfast news show on the Spanish state broadcaster TVE, adding that the Spanish troops will try to “calm the waters as much as possible” working from a “European position.” “We are a modest, but important part,” she said.
On Saturday, NATO decided to temporarily suspend a training mission to strengthen Iraqi security forces and Iraqi military education. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance will “maintain a presence” in the country, adding that “NATO is prepared to continue our training and capacity building when the situation permits.”
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