Defence Minister Ron Mark: New Zealand has withdrawn all forces from Tajj military base in Iraq

All 45 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel are either on their way back to New Zealand, or already in the country, according to Defence Minister Ron Mark.

"Twenty-eight personnel arrived back in New Zealand last week and are in isolation at the Royal New Zealand Air Force base in Auckland. The remainder will be returning later this week," he said in a statement.

The NZDF soldiers have been stationed in Iraq since 2015 helping to train Iraqi soldiers to defeat extremist group ISIS. More than 47000 Iraqi soldiers have been trained at Taji throughout the five-year deployment.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Rt. Hon. Winston Peters welcomed the announcement.

"New Zealand is very pleased to have fulfilled its commitment to the Iraqi Government and the Defeat-ISIS Coalition to train Iraqi Security Forces at Taji," he said in a statement.

Despite withdrawing from Iraq, New Zealand will still maintain a military contribution to the Defeat-ISIS Coalition.

"This decision recognises the enduring threat that a resurgent ISIS poses to global security, including towards New Zealand and New Zealanders abroad," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

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