Denmark wants to aid US mission in Iraq

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.

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 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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Denmark strips dual national of citizenship after terror conviction

A court in Denmark jailed a dual Danish-Turkish national for 10 years on Tuesday and stripped him of his citizenship for "planning a terrorist attack".

Denmark strips dual national of citizenship after terror conviction
The court at Frederiksberg ruled a 24-year-old man must be stripped of his Danish citizenship following a conviction on terrorism charges. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

The 24-year-old — who was not named by the court — will serve his prison sentence in Denmark, but will then be deported to Turkey upon release, the court in Frederiksberg said in a statement.

The man, a native of Copenhagen, had been under surveillance by the intelligence services and was arrested in April 2020 immediately after purchasing a gun and ammunition. 

The police had found a flag of the Islamic State group in his home. 

Prosecutors had demanded a jail term of 12 years and had charged him with purchasing weapons and ammunition “with the intent of perpetrating one or more terrorist attacks”.

The potential targets were not revealed.

After the man is deported, he will be banned for life from entering Danish territory. 

“I think he’s been in Turkey fewer times than many other Danish people,” his lawyer, Rolf Gregersen, told the court.

“Denmark must take responsibility for him once he was awarded Danish citizenship. They can’t just stick a postage stamp on his back and send him on his way,” the lawyer was quoted by the Danish news agency Ritzau as saying. 

The Danish intelligence services, which have foiled a number of attacks in recent years, categorise the risk of an attack against Denmark as “serious”, six years after an Islamist-motivated double attack in Copenhagen left two people dead.