Danish F-16s may have killed civilians in Iraq

The Danish Defence Command said "there is a risk" that a recent mission in northern Iraq "contributed to civilian deaths".

Danish F-16s may have killed civilians in Iraq
The possible civilian deaths were discovered in a routine review, the military said. Photo: Claus Fisker/Scanpix
Danish warplanes may have killed Iraqi civilians while targeting the Islamic State, the terror group known alternately known as Isis or ISIL, the Defence Command said on Thursday. 
“Danish F-16 jets that are engaged in the fight against ISIL on August 30th carried out an attack on approved targets. All procedures for the implementation of an attack in relation to the coalition’s guidelines were followed,” the Defence Command wrote in a statement
The statement said that a routine evaluation of the mission led the Danish military to believe that civilians may have been killed and that an investigation will be initiated. 
“The Danish forces have concluded that there is a risk that the attack may have possibly contributed to civilian deaths,” the statement said. 
Danish military officials will now review internal procedures and “determine if there is a need for changes”. 
Since October 2014, Denmark has had seven F-16s involved in the international coalition’s fight against Isis in northern Iraq. Four of the jets have flown nearly 500 missions and dropped over 425 bombs, while the other three jets are there in a reserve capacity. 
Accompanying the seven F-16s are around 90 military personnel. On top of that, Denmark also has 120 military trainers working with Iraqi troops as part of a US-led mission to get the Iraqis to “go on the offence” against Isis. 
Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen said in August that the jets would soon be brought back to Denmark for repairs and to allow “pilots and other personnel to be restored to health in preparation for being sent out again”.
The Danish parliament is widely expected to approve an extension of the Danish mission in Iraq and Jensen said the F-16s would be back in Iraq no later than summer 2016. 

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