Denmark and Latvia to move some troops from Iraq after Iranian missile strikes

FILE PHOTO: Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen arrives for the NATO leaders summit in Watford, Britain December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark will temporarily move some of its military personnel from the Al-Asad air base in Iraq that was targeted in an Iranian missile strike on Wednesday, Prime Minister Mettle Frederiksen said.

She told reporters that 30 to 40 of Denmark’s than 130 personnel at the base would remain and the rest would go to Kuwait. They have been at the base as part of the international coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

A contingent of Danish soldiers based in the Iraqi capital Baghdad will also go temporarily to Kuwait, Frederiksen said.

Latvia later said it would move out six soldiers deployed in Iraq as part of the Danish contingent, and that they would also go to Kuwait.

“First of all, it (the decision) is connected with the security issues and the second reason is […] that all the [military] training in Iraq is halted at the moment,” Latvian Defence Ministry spokesman Kaspars Galkins said by telephone.

Iranian forces fired missiles at military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq early on Wednesday, saying it was in retaliation for the killing in a U.S. drone strike of powerful Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3.

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen in Denmark and Gederts Gelzis in Riga; Editing by Alison Williams and Timothy Heritage