Denmark pulls back special forces from Iraq: ministry

Baghdad ( Denmark said Thursday it had pulled its special forces from Iraq after participating in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State since 2014, saying it was changing the mission of troops.

“As the vast majority of ISIL-controlled areas in Iraq are now freed, changes will be made to military action,” said the defense ministry on its website. “Our special operations forces return home after a successful effort. Your Iraqi partner unit is now ready to stand on your own”.

Praising the contribution of its forces to the coalition’s war against the extremist group in Iraq, the defense ministry said “now we have reached a point where we can start the resettlement of our special operations forces because ISIL no longer has control over major areas in Iraq”.

It, however, pointed that “it is important to emphasize that the fight against ISIL has not yet ended”, adding that “the Danish side will continue to be engaged in the fight against ISIL in order to prevent the terrorist group from returning and to help the Iraqi security forces themselves to take care of security in their own country”.

The Danish forces provided air support and training for Iraqi forces at the border regions with Syria.

Late April, the international coalition said it ended the operations of its land component, shifting to training and consultancy role to Iraqi troops. Iraq said in December it seized back all territories occupied by IS since 2014.

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