Denmark expands anti-IS campaign to Syria

REUTERS — Denmark’s government will present proposals soon to expand its mission against Islamic State (IS) into Syria, including air strikes, Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen’s office said on Friday (March 4).

If approved by parliament, F-16 fighters, C130J transport aircraft and 400 military personal, including special operations forces and support staff, would take part in the Syria campaign by the middle of the year. Danish forces have already seen action against IS in Iraq.

Parliament is expected to vote on the proposals in separate readings on April 1 and April 19. The main political parties have already said they backed the proposal, at a cross-party committee meeting that included the defense and foreign ministers.

Denmark’s expanded mission into Syria comes after direct requests from France and the United States, Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen told reporters after the committee meeting.

The defense ministry said the larger mission would make Denmark one of the highest contributors per capita in the fight against the militant group.

Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen called for Danish air strikes in Syria following the multiple attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people.

Denmark, whose former prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, served as the head of NATO until 2014, has a history of military contributions in Afghanistan and the Middle East.




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