US Armed Forces

Danish troops in Iraq unchanged, anti-IS contribution withdrawn

The Danish Defence Command has confirmed that the country’s troop numbers in Iraq will remain unchanged as part of NATO. However, “as a result of changing needs and priorities,” they have withdrawn military contributions to the anti-ISIS US-led global coalition alliance.

In an email to NRT English, the Danish Defence Command stated they are withdrawing their military members from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, “where the task of controlling the airspace over Iraq and Syria can now be fully accomplished.”

The Danish Defence Command (Forsvarskommandoen) is the primary command authority for the Danish Armed Forces. It manages strategic planning, coordination, and execution of military operations both domestically and internationally. The command supervises the different branches of the Danish military to ensure effective cooperation and efficient operations for national security purposes. The command said that the Danish military personnel had moved to Shaw from a base in the Middle East in 2021.

“The operator contribution is the last unit contribution to Operation Inherent Resolve, while Danish soldiers are still deployed to the coalition headquarters, just as Danish soldiers are still deployed to Iraq under the auspices of NATO.”

This comes as some local Kurdish news outlets, along with international outlets, had cited Al-Mayadeen and Russia Today as saying Danish troops are withdrawing from Iraq following a reduction in ISIS activity in Iraq and Syria.

Historically, Denmark has been an active participant in the fight against ISIS, contributing to the alliance since 2016. Their decision to withdraw from the anti-ISIS alliance but maintain a presence in Iraq under NATO highlights the evolving nature of international military priorities and the ongoing complexities in the region.

ISIS activity declines

Meanwhile, the anti-ISIS coalition forces said on Monday that this year the militants’ activities in Iraq and Syria have declined.

“Since the beginning of this year in Iraq – so that’s January 1st through the first week of April – we’ve recorded a 68 percent reduction in attacks when compared to the same period last year,” Major-General Matthew McFarlane, Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve said.

“To punctuate this success of our partnership, I want to highlight some stats from this past Ramadan, which has been one of the most peaceful in years thanks to the combined efforts of our partners. This year there were only 19 recorded attacks of any kind in Iraq, an 80 percent decrease from last year and 87 percent from 2020.”