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  • File Photo: Danish troops patrol in southern Iraq.

    File Photo: Danish troops patrol in southern Iraq. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 January 2020
Opinion

Danish Prime Minister Mettle Frederiksen said that 30 to 40 of Denmark’s 130 troops at the base would remain and the rest would go to Kuwait.

Denmark and Latvia have announced Wednesday that they will temporarily move some of its military personnel from the Al-Asad airbase in Iraq to Kuwait following Tuesday's missile attack carried out by Iranian forces. 

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Danish Prime Minister Mettle Frederiksen said that 30 to 40 of Denmark’s 130 troops at the base would remain and the rest would go to Kuwait. They have been at the base as part of the international coalition fighting Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Another contingent of Danish soldiers based in Baghdad will also go temporarily to Kuwait, Frederiksen added. Latvia later announced it would move out six soldiers deployed in Iraq as part of the Danish contingent.

“First of all, it (the decision) is connected with the security issues and the second reason is […] that all the [military] training in Iraq is halted at the moment,” Latvian Defence Ministry spokesman Kaspars Galkins said.

This comes as Iran's Revolutionary Guards launched a surface-to-surface ballistic missile attack on the Iraqi Ain al-Assad and Erbil airbases on Jan. 7, which hosts both Iraqi and United States forces.

The attack was a response to the U.S. killing of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani last week. 

On Tuesday, Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif explained that the strikes were "proportionate and concluded measures in self-defense under Article 51 of U.N. Charter," adding that the country "does not seek escalation nor war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."

Zarif also confirmed that his country notified Iraqi authorities of the attack on U.S. bases, resulting in no casualties on the Iraqi side.

"Iran has notified the Iraqi Government and the armed forces of the measures taken last night," the Foreign Minister statement said.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the issue Wednesday morning denying that U.S. citizens had died as a result of that military action, despite contradictory reports. The president backed away from threatening further strikes against Iran, deescalating the situation but he also announced more sanctions will be placed against the Persian nation. 

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