The novel coronavirus outbreak has prompted the U.S. military to consider ordering troops scheduled to return home from the Middle East to stay where they are for the next 60 days, two sources tell The Daily Beast.
A draft of the forthcoming order, described to The Daily Beast, instructs U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which is in charge of U.S. military operations in the Mideast, to exempt servicemembers returning from Afghanistan. They can transit through Kuwait for a maximum of 72 hours before returning home. One source familiar with the order cautioned that the order is not in its final form but expected it to take effect soon.
It is not clear if such an exception also holds for servicemembers scheduled to leave Iraq. With training missions for the Iraqi Security Forces paused during the COVID-19 outbreak, commanders anticipate sending about 200 U.S. trainers back home.
Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here