The U.S.-led coalition engaged in anti-ISIS operations in Iraq has transferred the Qayyarah Airfield West (Q-West) to the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).
The Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) conducted the base transfer ceremony on March 26.
“Today marks another milestone for the anti-ISIS international military Coalition and our Iraqi Security Forces partners,” said Brig. Gen. Vincent Barker, CJTF-OIR director of sustainment. “The Qayyarah base served as a strategic launching point for the ISF and Coalition during the Battle of Mosul. In particular, the base serves as a hub for the Iraqi air force, who continue to deliver lethal strikes on Daesh bed-down locations. Today’s transfer was coordinated with the Government of Iraq and is possible thanks to the efforts and successes of our ISF partners.”
Qayyarah Airfield West (Q-West) is an Iraqi air force base located 20 kilometers west of Qayyarah and 60 kilometers south of Mosul. The base has two main runways that measure more than 11,000 feet, and approximately 30 hardened aircraft shelters.
In 2014, ISIS occupied Q-West, Mosul and the surrounding areas. In 2016, the Iraqi army recaptured Q-West from ISIS during the Mosul offensive, and the airfield has been used by Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition forces to launch anti-ISIS operations since.
The Coalition troops will depart Q-West base after the completion of equipment transfers to Iraqi Security Forces, in the coming days.
“As a result of the ISF’s success in their fight against ISIS, and in conjunction with our partner forces and the Government of Iraq, CJTF-OIR will relocate and consolidate personnel and equipment from several Iraqi bases throughout 2020. The ISF increasingly conducts independent operations in the fight against Daesh and the defense of their homeland including the “Heroes of Iraq” Campaign and 2019’s “Will of Victory.” CJTF-OIR remains in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq and will continue anti-ISIS advising and training operations. The Coalition will operate from fewer locations, but remains committed to supporting our partners in their fight against Daesh”, said a statement.
The Coalition has recently transferred Al Qa’im base to the Iraqi Security Forces.