Iraq assumes full control of military base in Nineveh province

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BAGHDAD, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces on Thursday took over full control of al-Qayyara military base from the U.S.-led coalition forces in the northern province of Nineveh.

"The international coalition forces handed over the al-Qayyara base to Iraqi forces at the request of the Iraqi government after the end of their combat mission," the Iraqi Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

The military base is the second that Iraq has received from the international coalition forces within a week, according to the statement.

It said that Iraq will also take full control of other bases, including K1 in the country's northern province of Kirkuk, and the Habbaniyah base in the western province of Anbar, in addition to a coalition headquarters within the complex of Nineveh Operations Command.

The handover of al-Qayyara base confirms the ability of the Iraqi forces to maintain the security and sovereignty of Iraq from any attack, the statement added.

On Jan. 5, the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, just two days after a U.S. drone strike on a convoy at Baghdad airport, which killed Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Revolution Guards Corps.

Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support Iraqi forces in battles against the Islamic State (IS), mainly for training and advisory purposes.

The troops were part of the U.S.-led international coalition that has also been conducting air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria. Enditem

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