France announces withdrawal from Iraq

France announced it will withdraw all troops it has stationed in Iraq due to the coronavirus outbreak.

French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation on Wednesday night after visiting the eastern French city of Mulhouse, where a military field hospital has been set up by the army. 

Macron promised comprehensive short- and long-term policy measures to tackle the crisis.

As part of the new Operation Resilience, the army will be deployed to help with logistics and medical support. 

France is also deploying helicopter carriers to help transport patients in overseas French territories in the Caribbean, South America and the Indian Ocean, Macron announced.

A few hours after Macron's address to the nation, the country’s Armed Forces Ministry said France will withdraw all troops it has stationed in Iraq until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"France has taken the decision to repatriate until further notice its personnel deployed in Operation Chammal in Iraq," the ministry said, adding that it involved around 100 soldiers.

The army said it would continue air operations against the Islamic State (ISIS) group.