Military to assist in chemical weapon mission in Syria

An unspecified number of specially trained troops and one navy vessel will join UN mission to destroy chemical weapons

Danish troops will play an active role in the securing and dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons.

The government decided today to accept a UN request to provide protection and transport to the UN mission of dismantling Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons. 

The defence minister, Nicolai Wammen (S), told Jyllands-Posten newspaper that Denmark was committing “a small number” of specially-trained soldiers to the mission, but did not specify the number. 

“We will go in with a broad approach from the Danish side and support the mission to destroy the weapons in Syria,” Wammen said. “We have not confirmed the actual number [of soldiers] yet, but it is important to say that from the Danish side we can, with this contribution, give very strong support to ensuring that the Syrian regime can never again use chemical weapons against civilians, children and innocent people.”

The military will also contribute a naval vessel to the mission, but Wammen did not specify where the ship would sail or where the chemical weapons would be destroyed. 

The development minister, Christian Friis Bach (R), however, told Jyllands-Posten that the weapons would not be destroyed in Denmark. 

The decision to answer the UN call passed parliament by a wide majority. According to Jyllands-Posten, a final decision on Denmark's involvement will come on November 15, but it is expected that the ship will be employed until February while the troops may be needed until next summer.