• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Denmark to help Iraq 'go on offence' against Isis

AFP/The Local · 8 Nov 2014, 09:07

Published: 08 Nov 2014 09:07 GMT+01:00

Meeting with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Friday, Denmark's defence minister Nicolai Wammen committed to help the Americans train Iraqi forces to combat the terrorist group Isis.
 
Following the meeting, Pentagon officials said that the US's partners in the anti-Isis coalition would send up to 700 troops to help train and advise Iraqi troops as the US unveiled plans to roughly double the number of US soldiers in Iraq. Of the 700 coalition trainers, Denmark will supply 120. 
 
"I had a very good meeting with my American colleague Chuck Hagel. He thanked us for the Danish response to ISIL [an alternate name for Isis, ed.] and we strongly agreed that it is important that those of us in the coalition continue the fight against the terrible terrorist organisation event though it will be a difficult and lengthy task," Wammen said in a statement. 
 
US President Barack Obama on Friday announced that he plans to send 1,500 additional troops to Iraq to help Baghdad government forces strike back at Isis jihadists.
 
The move marked a deepening US commitment in the open-ended war against the Isis group, three months since American aircraft launched air strikes against the Sunni extremists.
 
The move extends the US training and advising mission to new areas as Iraqi and Kurdish forces prime themselves to recapture ground lost to Isis, including in the volatile Anbar province in the west where the Iraqi army has been on the retreat.
 
The reinforcements were "part of our strategy for strengthening partners on the ground" but the troops would have a "non-combat role," the White House said in a statement.
 
The United States already is carrying out air strikes against Isis in Iraq and Syria but officials insisted the decision did not signal "mission creep" towards another all-out ground war.
 
"They will not be introduced into combat," a senior administration official told reporters.
 
The US forces will be carrying out the same mission that has been outlined from the start -- to help the Iraqi forces on the ground, the official said.
 
"The mission is not changing at all for our service members," the official said. "We are adding personnel to better carry out the mission."
 
Story continues below…
The 1,500 US troops will include roughly 600 advisors to help Iraqi forces plan operations and nearly 900 trainers who will be deployed across the country.
 
To fund the growing war effort, Obama also planned to request $5.6 billion from Congress, including $1.6 billion to train and arm the Iraqi forces, officials said. The additional troops would not deploy until Congress approved the funding.
  
Sceptics of Obama's strategy question if the Iraqi army can be salvaged as long as Sunni tribes feel alienated by the Shiite-led government in Baghdad. But officials said they were hopeful a new Iraqi defence minister would reinvigorate the army, which virtually collapsed earlier this year against the onslaught of the IS group.
 
"One of the reasons why we think this is a good idea right now is because the Iraq security forces have stiffened their spine and have gone on the offence," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said.  

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news.denmark@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Danish opposition leader: Trump is a ‘populist know-it-all’
Things might get a little awkward if both Frederiksen and Trump end up becoming heads of state in their respective countries. Photo: Jim Watson/Scanpix

The leader of Denmark’s largest opposition party launched a scathing attack on the controversial US presidential candidate in a Facebook post to her supporters on Wednesday.

1 in 3 Danes believe Denmark is at war with Islam
A fighter jet launches from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: US Navy/Scanpix

A new survey finds that a sizeable minority of Danes believe that the country is at war with the religion of Islam and its adherents.

Study finds Danes are getting (even) taller

A new study found that the Danes have been getting even taller compared to the rest of the world over the last century.

Danish comedian slams prayer and religion in viral video
Photo: John MacDougall/Scanpix

A video by a Danish comedian has stirred up a heated debate on the utility of prayer and religion in general.

Danish asylum centre visited by alleged Isis recruiter
Rønne harbour. A number of new asylum centres have been established on the island of Bornholm in recent years. Photo: Ehrenberg Kommuni

A Danish asylum centre on the island of Bornholm was purportedly visited by a man claiming to be an Isis representative.

Nude photo exhibition opens in Copenhagen
Mathilde Grafström's photographs are intended to show that there is nothing wrong with the female body. Photo: Mathilde Grafström

A controversial nude photo exhibition finally opened on Copenhagen’s Nytorv square on Monday after months of wrangling with the local police.

Danes: Muslims must speak out against terrorism
Flowers left outside the French embassy in Copenhagen the day after the attack in Nice, France. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Gestsson/Scanpix

According to a new survey, 3 in 4 Danes believe that Muslims in Denmark are not doing enough to distance themselves from extremist acts carried out in the name of their religion.

Copenhagen 4th most liveable city in the world
The magazine praised Copenhagen’s bicycle-friendly infrastructure and nightlife. Photo: Roman Board/Flickr

The Danish capital makes a comeback in the British lifestyle magazine Monocle’s Quality of Life Index, where it 'only' came in 10th last year.

Number of Danes joining Isis in decline
Syrian civil defence members evacuate a young man following a reported air strike on the besieged rebel-controlled town of Douma. Abd Doumany/Scanpix

A number of recently published reports from Scandinavian intelligence services suggest that Isis recruitment peaked across Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia in 2013/2014.

Denmark slammed for sending lesbians to Uganda

Denmark’s decision to deny asylum to three lesbians and send them back to their home country of Uganda has been criticized by an LGBT group.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Culture
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
National
Denmark scraps green card but spares current holders
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Society
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
National
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
2,306
jobs available