COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark will not extend military operations of its seven F-16 fighter jets in Syria and Iraq from mid-December after six months in action, the Danish government said on Friday.
Instead the Danish contribution in Syria and Iraq will primarily consist of training and analysis teams, which to a large extent will work closer to Iraqi military units.
“We are pulling our airplanes out as planned. We have offered the coalition extra help with some construction and engineer troops,” Danish foreign minister Anders Samuelsen said after a meeting in the foreign political council.
“It has been assessed whether it would make sense from economical and practical considerations (to extend the mission) ... the conclusion has been that it makes no sense, so we just stick to the plan,” Samuelsen said.
NATO member Denmark is part of the U.S.-led operation “Inherent Resolve” against Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria. It said when it joined the mission in June it would review the operation after six months.
On Monday, a U.S. military investigation said Danish war planes were involved in a Sept. 17 coalition air strike, where a series of “unintentional human errors” killed fighters aligned with the Syrian government instead of the targeted Islamic State militants.
The minister made no mention of the incident in his statement.
Reporting by Erik Matzen, Annabella Pultz Nielsen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, Additional reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard