According to the newspaper, before the coronavirus pandemic, the base, which is one of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) centres run by the US-led international coalition, hosted 350 out of 530 Spanish service members in Iraq. In mid-April, Spain temporarily withdrew 200 soldiers due to the spread of the virus.
Since the base has completed its mission, Spain will send a new contingent to Iraq to collect material from the site and prepare to return the facility to the Iraqi authorities, the newspaper reported.
After the withdrawal of troops from the Bismayah base, Spain will continue to operate its Task Force Toro, which consists of 80 members of airborne force Famet stationed at the Taji base in Iraq, along with Spanish special operatives training and assisting the Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and Al Taqaddum, with 40 and 70 troops at each site, respectively.
On 20 March, the US-led international coalition announced the reduction of its personnel on several Iraqi bases due to the coronavirus pandemic, among other reasons. The coalition added that military drills would resume as soon as the epidemiological situation improves.