Danish soldiers leave Iraq amid Middle East tensions

Danish soldiers leave Iraq amid Middle East tensions
A file photo showing Danish Minister of Defence Trine Bramsen meeting military personnel. Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix
100 Danish soldiers arrived in Kuwait on Thursday after Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced that they were to temporarily relocate from the al-Asad base in Iraq.

The al-Asad base was one of two military bases hit by Iranian missile strikes earlier this week. The strikes were carried out by Iran in retaliation for the killing of its major general Qassem Soleimani by the United States last week in Baghdad.

Denmark’s defence minister Trine Bramsen wrote on social media that the soldiers had landed in Kuwait. That was confirmed by the Danish armed forces (Forsvaret) on its website.

The 100 soldiers were transported to Kuwait by a Danish Hercules transport aircraft.

“Our soldiers have landed in Kuwait. Their safety is the first priority. I hope they can continue the fight against Isil [terror group Islamic State (Isis), ed.] soon,” Bramsen tweeted.

The announcement from the Danish government came after Iran attacked two military bases in Iraq on Wednesday night, including the al-Asad base, where 133 Danish soldiers are stationed. Danish personnel at the base are involved in training Iraqi forces.

The Danish government has taken the view that, under current circumstances, its personnel cannot continue the work in Iraq.

“I am pleased that the relocation has taken place quickly and on schedule. And I have great respect for the soldiers still at the base, where they continue to carry out important duties,” Bramsen said via the Danish armed forces’ website.

In addition to the 133 soldiers at the al-Asad base, Denmark also has eight staff officers at Nato's Mission Iraq in Baghdad. The eight personnel have also been temporarily moved to Kuwait.

READ ALSO: Denmark parliament to discuss presence of soldiers in Iraq


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