U.S.-led troops withdraw from Iraq’s Taji base

United States-led international coalition troops withdrew from Iraq’s Taji military base on Sunday and handed it over to Iraqi security forces, Reuters witnesses and the coalition said.

The base, 20 kilometers north of Baghdad,  has been the site of frequent rocket attacks by Iran-backed militias targeting U.S.-led troops in recent months and the withdrawal comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump redoubled his promise to withdraw the few U.S. troops still in the country.

The United States has had about 5,000 troops stationed in the country and coalition allies a further 2,500.

Iraq’s parliament had voted this year for the departure of foreign troops from Iraq and U.S. and other coalition troops have been leaving as part of a drawdown.

The vote came after a U.S. air strike on Baghdad airport killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.