PARIS --- The end of the territorial caliphate marks the beginning of a new phase of our engagement, against the now-clandestine cells of Daesh. As is regularly the case, our military deployment is adapting to this new phase. As a result, the Caesar artillery guns engaged in the Levant to fight against Daech for almost 3 years are returning to France.
The gunners of Task Force Wagram have officially completed their mission. Their repatriation to France is imminent. As part of the international coalition, their contribution to the reconquest of the pseudo-regional caliphate was decisive. They took part in all the major battles of recent months, especially during the recapture of Mosul or, more recently, during the taking of the last bastion of Baghouz.
Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly congratulates the successive detachments that contributed to these successes. The Minister of the Armed Forces visited the Iraqi-Syrian border last February in order to salute their commitment. She reiterates today France’s recognition of its gunners.
In this context, Florence Parly will meet this morning with the Prime Minister of Iraq, Adel Abdel-Mahdi, at the [Armed Forces Ministry HQ at the] Hotel de Brienne. The minister will address the current main challenges: the continuation of the fight against Daesh, the reconstruction of the country, and national reconciliation.
Since the beginning of the fighting against Daesh, France is committed alongside Iraq and will remain so: French aircraft will continue to take part in Coalition operations in support of Iraqi forces, and French instructors will continue the training of Iraqi soldiers. Since 2015, more than 20,000 Iraqi soldiers have benefited from French expertise.