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Iran Press TV

US military curtails Europe exercise over Coronavirus fears

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 11 March 2020 11:10 PM

The US military has announced that it will reduce the number of troops that were supposed to take part in an exercise in Europe over "health protection" amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

US European Command made the announcement Wednesday, citing concerns over the pandemic.

"After careful review of the ongoing Defender-Europe 20 exercise activities and in light of the current Coronavirus outbreak, we will modify the exercise by reducing the number of US participants," it said.

Some 20,000 US troops were expected to participate in the war games to mark the largest deployment of US-based forces to Europe for a drill.

"The health protection of our force, and that of our Allies and partners, is a top concern. We take the Coronavirus outbreak seriously and are confident that by making this important decision we'll continue to do our part to prevent the further spread of the virus, while still maximizing our efforts to advance our alliances and partnerships and enhancing our comprehensive readiness to address any crisis or contingency," US European Command said.

During a Defender-Europe 20 conference in Wiesbaden, Germany, on March 6, the commander of US Army Europe, Christopher Cavoli, was reportedly exposed to the virus along with several staff members.

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