Denmark wants to aid US mission in Iraq

Denmark wants to aid US mission in Iraq
A man and his wife from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, carry their children as they re-enter Iraq from Syria. Photo:Youssef Boudlal/Scanpix
The prime minister has received the backing of parliament to reach out to American leaders and offer Denmark's assistance in the humanitarian aid mission brought on by the rapid advance of the Islamic State.
The Danish government is ready and willing to contribute to the humanitarian mission in northern Iraq, PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt said on Thursday night. 
Thorning-Schmidt said that Denmark is prepared to offer a military transport aircraft to the US mission. Danish military personnel could also directly transport humanitarian aid to northern Iraq.
“The government has decided that we will tell the US and other like-minded countries that we are ready to contribute to the humanitarian support operation that the Americans are leading in northern Iraq,” Thorning-Schmidt told TV2.
“It is a very serious situation and what Denmark can offer is that we can contribute with military aircraft that can transport emergency humanitarian aid, and we can contribute to making sure that the aid makes its way to those in northern Iraq who are in distress,” she added. 
Contributing to the US mission would require parliament’s approval and Thorning-Schmidt said that she has spoken to the leaders of the various political parties and received enough backing to secure a majority. 
Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the former PM and the head of the largest opposition party Venstre, said his party supports the PM’s decision.
“The conflict in northern Iraq has seen such violent escalation that it requires the world to come together and help the hundreds of thousands of people who have been forced to flee,” he said. 
Germany has sent four military transporters to the area and on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country would not rule out also sending weapons. In Norway, PM Erna Solberg said on Thursday evening that the US has requested Norway's help in the Iraq mission.
The militant jihadist group the Islamic State, previously known as Isis, has made significant advances throughout Syria and northern Iraq and as many as 1.6 million people have fled the escalating violence, including up to 800,000 children. 

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