World News

Danish troops to return to Al-Asad air base in Iraq on March 1

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark said on Monday it will send its military personnel back to the Iraqi al-Asad base on March 1 to restart training of Iraqi security forces in the fight against Islamic State.

The Nordic NATO-member last month removed most of the 130 military personnel it had stationed at the Al-Asad base due to security concerns in the wake of an Iranian missile attack on the air base on Jan 8.

Denmark’s forces at the base are part of the international coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The Danish defence ministry said on Monday the security situation was now no different than before the attack, which was why it had assessed it would be safe for the Danish soldiers to return to the base.

“In the fight against terror, it is important that Iraq does not again become a hotbed of terrorists’ recruitment and training,” said Defence Minister Trine Bramsen in a statement.

“Therefore, it is important that we resume the training of Iraqi security personnel so they, in the long run, can take care of the security in Iraq themselves,” Bramsen added.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Alex Richardson