Half a million Iraqis have been driven from their homes by jihadist rebels. Photo: Safin Hamed/Scanpix
The United States has accepted Denmark’s offer to assist with its mission in northern Iraq, according to news agency Ritzau.
Denmark will contribute a Hercules aircraft carrier to the ongoing humanitarian mission in the area, where up to a half a million people have fled the violent forward march of the Islamic State, the terrorist organisation previously known as Isis.
The exact details of Denmark’s contribution to the meeting are to be discussed by the Foreign Affairs Committee (Udenrigspolitisk Nævn) on Thursday, after which the proposal will be presented to a special assembly of parliament on August 27th.
Mette Gjerskov, the chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said time is of the essence.
“The humanitarian situation in northern Iraq is quite horrible. The behaviour of Islamic State is so unbelievably brutal that I don’t think we are seeing anything like it in the current global context despite the fact that you could say that the world has been in flames over the summer,” she told Ritzau.
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt announced last week that Denmark was willing and able to help the US mission in Iraq.
“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 told TV2.
Contributing to the US mission would require parliament’s approval. Thorning-Schmidt said last week that she has spoken to the leaders of the various political parties and received enough backing to secure a majority.