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IRAQ

Danish F-16s carry out first mission against Isis

For the first time since parliament approved Denmark's military involvement in northern Iraq, Danish jets took to the air to support an American-led mission.

Danish F-16s carry out first mission against Isis
Danish fighter jets have now carried out their first mission since arriving at a Kuwait base on October 5th. Photo: Forsvarskommandoen/Scanpix
Danish F-16 fighter jets participated in their first mission over northern Iraq on Thursday, the Defence Ministry announced. 
 
“The jets took part in an operation over Iraq in close cooperation with our coalition partners. Our people have made dedicated and highly professional efforts to be ready and I am very pleased that the Danish F-16s are now actively contributing to the international coalition’s fight against the Islamic State,” Defence Minister Nicolai Wammen said in a statement. 
 
Wammen said that two Danish jets took part in an American-led mission to engage Isis forces in Iraq, but that there proved to be “no need for the Danish jet’s support on this mission and no weapons were used”, according to the ministry. 
 
The Danish jets did however obtain “useful information” to be used by coalition forces, the statement added. 
 
Although this first mission did not entail strikes, Wammen stressed that the military mission against Isis would be no walk in the park for the Danish pilots.
 
“This will not be an easy fight. It is also not without danger. But it is a fight that we can not abstain from being involved in, and the Danish pilots are, along with the rest of the crew, both well-trained and experienced,” he said. 
 
The Danish parliament approved the military mission in Iraq on October 2nd, and the Danish jets arrived at the Ahmed Al Jaber base in Kuwait on October 5th. According to a report from Berlingske, the Danish jets were kept grounded until Thursday due to the lack of permission from Kuwaiti authorities to use the country’s airspace. Wammen did not respond to Berlingske’s report.  
 
Denmark has contributed a total of seven F-16s to the coalition efforts against Isis: four operational jets and three in reserve. Accompanying the jets is a crew of up to 140 people. 

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POLICE

Six arrested in Denmark raid for suspected Isis links

Six men suspected of being members of the so-called Islamic State (Isis) group or funding it were arrested in an anti-terror raid in Denmark on Tuesday, police said.

Six arrested in Denmark raid for suspected Isis links
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The suspects, whose identities were not disclosed, are aged between 27 and 35, police in East Jutland said.

Two of the suspects were arrested in the Danish capital Copenhagen and the four others in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-biggest city.

“Two of the people arrested, a man aged 29 from the region of Aarhus and a 30-year-old man living in Copenhagen, are suspected of penal code violations… for having travelled to Syria in 2014, where they were recruited by the terrorist organisation Islamic State,” police said in a statement.

The 29-year-old is also suspected of having tried to return to Syria in early 2015 to rejoin Isis.

Under his instruction, the four other suspects are accused of having acted as “intermediaries” and having sent money to the organisation.

According to Danish intelligence service PET, at least 160 people have travelled from Denmark to fight in Syria or Iraq. About a third of them have been killed in action, 32 are still there and around half of them have either returned to Denmark or another country.

Jihadism is considered the biggest threat to Denmark’s national security, according to PET.

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