ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Denmark will withdraw up to 60 soldiers from Iraq as most of the Islamic State (IS)-controlled areas have been liberated, a Danish official said on Thursday.
“We have now reached a point where we can begin withdrawing our special forces because [IS] no longer has control over large areas in Iraq,” Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said in a statement.
The process of pulling out forces will end in late autumn, but Denmark will still have some 180 military personnel stationed at the al-Asad air base in Iraq’s western Anbar Province.
“It is important to stress that the fight against IS isn’t over yet,” Samuelsen added.
Danish Defense Minister Hjort Frederiksen also commented on the issue, stating that Iraq is now ready to “stand on their own feet.”
The remaining Danish forces are believed to be contributing to radar surveillance as part of the US-led coalition against the extremist group in the country.
IS occupied large swaths of territory in Iraq in 2014.
Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi announced victory against the group last December after three years of fierce fighting but IS activities such as ambushes, bombings, and kidnappings continue in some parts of the country.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany