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US-led coalition hands over major ammunition depot to Iraqi govt. forces

The US-led military coalition hands over the ammunition depot at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, to Iraqi security forces during a ceremony on August 16, 2020. (Photo by Iraqi News Agency)

The US-led military coalition purportedly formed to fight the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has officially turned over its largest ammunition depot in the north of the capital, Baghdad, to Iraqi security forces.

The official Iraqi News Agency, citing a statement released by Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR), reported that the handover took place at Camp Taji, situated approximately 27 kilometers (17 miles) north of Baghdad, on Sunday.

It added that nearly 50 ammunition storage bunkers and related facilities were also handed over to the Iraqi side.

The statement added that the handover of “the primary ammunition depot site, which is worth more than $11 million and supports the operations of the Iraqi security forces and the international coalition against Daesh, was planned for a long time in coordination with the Iraqi government.”

It noted that the US-led coalition will continue to keep a smaller presence at Camp Taji to coordinate logistical and security operations with Iraqi forces.

The development occurred only a day after the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a brief statement that two Katyusha rockets had hit the military base.

There were no reports of casualties and no group claimed immediate responsibility for the rocket attack.

The US has handed over several bases to Iraqi forces over the past months. 

Back on July 25, the US-led coalition turned over its facilities in Besmaya Range Complex to Iraqi security forces.

Anti-US sentiment has been running high in Iraq since the assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units – better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, and their companions in a US assassination drone airstrike authorized by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3.

Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill two days later, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country.

The US responded to the move by threatening crippling sanctions against the Arab country.

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