Parliament gives the green light: Denmark now at war with IS in Syria
Today, a parliamentary majority voted in favour of sending both ground and air forces to fight Islamic State in Syria and Iraq after a five-hour long session.
In joining the US-led international coalition, Denmark will send F16 fighter jets, special forces and a C-130J transport aircraft carrying 400 Danish soldiers to Syria.
The coalition aims to fight on the side of “various armed Syrian groups” collectively known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, according to the defence minister, Peter Christensen. He declined to provide more details about the groups, citing security concerns.
The parties in favour of sending troops were Dansk Folkeparti, Socialdemokraterne, Konservative and Radikale.
Enhedslisten and Alternativet expressed concerns.
“We will be more than happy to help combat IS. But we will not do it by throwing bombs at the risk of hitting civilians and increasing support for extremists,” said Nikolaj Villumsen, Enhedslisten’s foreign affairs spokesman.
The foreign minister, Kristen Jensen, acknowledged during the session that the decision to send troops to Syria and Iraq was a difficult one – but maintained that Denmark needed to support the international coalition.
“There is now a need for Denmark to reaffirm and strengthen its support for the international coalition’s efforts and we want to assume those responsibilities,” he said.