12:51 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Danish soldiers secure the area around a bridge in Basra, Iraq (File)

    Denmark to Pull Special Forces From Iraq as Most Daesh-Controlled Areas Freed

    © AP Photo / Nabil al-Jurani
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    The Danish Defence Ministry said Thursday that the country would pull around 60 of its special forces from Iraq as most of the Daesh-controlled areas have been freed.

    "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 withdrawing process will conclude in late autumn, while Denmark will still leave in Iraq around 180 military personnel deployed at the al-Asad air base.

    "It is important to stress that the fight against IS [Daesh] isn't over yet," the minister stressed.

    Commenting on the issue, Danish defense minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said Iraq was now ready to "stand on their own two feet."

    READ MORE: At Least 2 Killed, 4 Injured by Suicide Attacker in Iraqi Al Tarmia — Source

    The remaining forces will contribute to radar surveillance as part of an international coalition against Daesh*.

    Iraq has long been suffering from activities of various terrorist groups. In 2014, vast territories of the Middle Eastern state were occupied by Daesh.

    The Iraqi army has successfully fought back against Daesh over the past year. In December, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi declared an end to the country's fight against Daesh as Iraqi troops re-established complete control over the country's Syrian border.

    The Danish parliament approved sending a 60-member contingent to Iraq in August 2016. The troops were tasked with assisting the Iraqi military in training and escorting.

    *Daesh [IS, ISIL, Islamic State] — a terrorist organization, banned in Russia.


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