US-led forces pull out of 3rd Iraqi base this month

Baghdad: The US-led coalition withdrew on Sunday from a military base in northern Iraq that nearly launched Washington into an open war with neighbouring Iran.

The K1 Air Base is the third site coalition forces have left this month in line with US plans to consolidate its troops in two locations in Iraq.

A rocket attack on the base in late December killed one American contractor and lead to a series of tit-for-tat attacks between the US and Iran-backed Iraqi militia groups.

The attacks culminated in the US-directed killing of top Iranian general Qassim Soleimani and senior Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Coalition forces handed over the K1 air base in the northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk to Iraq’s military, according to a coalition statement.

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