France announced on Wednesday that it is pulling out its military forces from Iraq to help fight the coronavirus at home.
The chief of staff of the French armed forces said in a statement that France is suspending its anti-terrorism training operations in Iraq. The announcement comes as president Emmanuel Macron launched a special military operation to support efforts to treat people infected with the virus.
France now has nearly 26,000 confirmed cases, with over 1,300 deaths. Earlier this week, prime minister Edouard Philippe announced even stricter rules to try to slow the spread of the virus.
The French military built a field hospital in the country’s hardest-hit region by the outbreak. France will also deploy helicopter carriers in its overseas territories, and has transported the sick on military planes and an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean.