New Zealand plans to withdraw all troops from Iraq by June 2020

The New Zealand and Australian troops were station in Taji Military Complex. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 June 2019

New Zealand plans to withdraw all troops from Iraq by June 2020

  • The country has 95 noncombat personnel at Taji Military Complex
  • They will also decrease the number of defense force personnel in Afghanistan

WELLINGTON, New Zealand: New Zealand says it will withdraw all of its troops from Iraq by next June.
The South Pacific nation has a small contingent of 95 so-called noncombat personnel deployed at the Taji Military Complex northwest of Baghdad, where they are tasked with training Iraqi security forces.
The training mission is a joint operation with Australia, which has about 300 troops stationed at Taji. Australia has not made any announcement about its long-term plans at the base.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday the number of New Zealand troops will be reduced to 75 by July and then to 45 by January before all the troops all withdrawn.
Ardern also announced New Zealand will reduce the number of defense force personnel it has posted in Afghanistan from 13 to 11.


Al-Qaeda claims Pakistan detained wife of its chief Zawahiri

Updated 23 August 2019

Al-Qaeda claims Pakistan detained wife of its chief Zawahiri

  • Zawahiri, an Egyptian, became leader of Al-Qaeda following the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan
  • He is believed to be hiding somewhere in the region

ISLAMABAD: Al-Qaeda has accused Pakistani security forces of detaining the wife of its chief, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and two other families of the insurgent group’s “martyrs” for nearly a year.
In a statement, the leadership of Al-Qaeda on Friday alleged “treacherous Pakistani forces” captured Zawahiri’s wife and others as they left the former Taliban stronghold of Waziristan bordering Afghanistan about a year ago due to continuous airstrikes.
It said: “We ... hold Pakistan’s government and its treacherous army and their American masters responsible for their criminal acts.”
There was no immediate comment from Pakistan.
Zawahiri, an Egyptian, became leader of Al-Qaeda following the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan by US Navy SEALS. He is believed to be hiding somewhere in the region.