• 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
Novo Nordisk to cut 500 jobs in Denmark, 1,000 overall
Around half of the cuts will be in Denmark. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix

Historic firing round for the diabetes medicine giant.

Danish nationalists' 'refugee spray' draws ire
The Danes' Party's spray evoked strong feelings at home and criticism from abroad. Photo: Daniel Carlsen/ Danskernes Parti

A Danish far-right group faced criticism on Wednesday after courting criticism by handing out "asylum spray" to be used against violent migrants.

Denmark falls in international student satisfaction rank
DTU was once again named the best university in Denmark. Photo: NewsOresund/Flickr

UPDATED: Nordic nations once again dominated the annual International Student Satisfaction Awards.

New Copenhagen project will 'try to change the world'
Martin Kæstel and Anja Müller are the driving forces behind think.dk. Photo: Melanie Haynes

A new project based in the Copenhagen district of Østerbro was launched this week to give sustainability proponents power in numbers.

Denmark reverses course on refugee ‘child brides’
An unspecified number of married couples have been reunited in Danish asylum centres. File photo: Bax Lindhardt/Scanpix

Married couples will be allowed to live together in Danish asylum centres even if one party is underage.

Copenhagen tour boat fined over girl’s amputated arm
The tour operator said it had followed all of the rules and the accident is the only one of its kind in 25 years. Photo: Colourbox

Tour boat operator Netto-Bådene was ordered on Tuesday to pay 50,000 kroner for an accident in which a 10-year-old girl had her arm smashed.

Photo gallery
IN PICS: Celebrating Copenhagen beer... in Boston
Danish beer culture took over Boston's City Hall Plaza for the weekend. Photo: Samer Khudairi

A Danish beer party in Beantown? Yep, and The Local had a photographer there to document the happenings.

Danes acquitted of aiding 2015 Copenhagen attacker
The trial of the four men was held under heavy security in Copenhagen. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

UPDATED: Four men accused of helping a Copenhagen gunman who killed a filmmaker and a Jewish security guard were acquitted on terror charges.

Danish kids among the fittest in the world: study
The study compared kids' 20m shuttle run times. Photo: Mikkel Zibrandtsen/Flickr

Danish kids have some of the highest level of aerobic fitness in the world, according to a recently-released international study.

Copenhagen police arrest teen as car fires continue
Firefighters extinguish a car fire in Valby over the weekend. Photo: Mathias Øgendal/Scanpix

UPDATED: A 17-year-old has been charged in connection with one of the 11 new fires over the weekend.

Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
International
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Travel
Copenhagen declared world's most livable city - again!
Record number of Danes leave the church
Society
Record number of Danes leave the church
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
National
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Society
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
National
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Analysis & Opinion
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
National
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
National
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Society
Expats: Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Business & Money
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Society
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Sport
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
National
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
National
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
2,226
jobs available