Last Danish soldiers leave Iraq

The last six Danish soldiers to leave Iraq are back on Danish soil

The article is written with Syrian refugees, among others, in mind (photo: iStock)
November 22nd, 2011 2:15 pm| by admin
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Seven years of a Danish military presence in Iraq has come to an end.

Six Danish military personnel from all three branches of service landed in Denmark Monday after traveling for three days following their departure from Baghdad.

“We were the 14th group to be deployed,” said Colonel Karsten Vestergaard. “We were the ones to wrap up our operations after it was decided that we could do more good other places in the world.”

The last six Danish military personnel were spread around Iraq, performing different staff functions as part of NatoÂ’s efforts to train IraqÂ’s military personnel and police.

Denmark participated by building an officer school and training non-commissioned officers.

“Nato’s goal is for Iraq, in time, to become a partner with Nato, just as, say, Ukraine, is today,” said Vestergaard.

Since 2003, Denmark has been part of the Nato-led effort to rebuild Iraq. At its peak, some 440 soldiers were stationed in Iraq, and a total of about 5,000 Danish military personnel deployed there.

Eight Danish soldiers were killed while on deployment, six of which were in combat units.

Home Guard units also sent personnel. In addition to land-based troops, a the Navy corvette ‘Olfert Fischer’ and the submarine ‘Sælen’ were also deployed.

Denmark began withdrawing its combat soldiers in 2007, when the Danish forces were stationed under British command in the southern Basra province.

A small number of soldiers have been stationed in Baghdad since then as instructors.

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