SOF - Special Operations

Denmark to pull special forces out of Iraq

17th May 2018 - 14:01 GMT | by ​Agence France-Presse in Stockholm

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NATO-member Denmark said on 17 May that its special forces taking part in the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq would be withdrawn following the IS defeat.

Anders Samuelsen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, said: ‘We have now reached a point where we can begin withdrawing our special forces because (IS) no longer has control over large areas in Iraq.’

Up to 60 special forces were sent to Iraq in 2016 to train and advise Iraqi soldiers after a vote by the Danish parliament.

The forces also took part in operations on the Iraqi-Syrian border, providing intelligence and ad hoc air support.

Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Defence Minister of Denmark, said: ‘Their Iraqi partners are now ready to stand on their own two feet. (IS) have been forced away from virtually all the areas which the terrorist organisation occupied in Iraq.’

The Scandinavian nation currently has around 180 troops stationed at the Al-Asad air base near Baghdad, where they have been training Iraqi soldiers and Kurdish security forces.

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