New Zealand says to withdraw all troops from Iraq by June

A New Zealand soldier from Task Group Taji 6.

WELLINGTON ( – New Zealand announced on Monday that it would withdraw all of its troops from Iraq by next June following the defeat of the Islamic State militant group.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the number of New Zealand troops will be reduced to 75 by July and then to 45 by January before all the troops all withdrawn, FOX News reported.

Ardern also announced New Zealand will reduce the number of defense force personnel it has posted in Afghanistan from 13 to 11.

The South Pacific nation has a small contingent of 95 so-called noncombat personnel deployed at the Taji Military Complex northwest of Baghdad, where they are tasked with training Iraqi security forces.

The training mission is a joint operation with Australia, which has about 300 troops stationed at Taji. Australia has not made any announcement about its long-term plans at the base.

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