Denmark to withdraw special forces from Iraq

Danish foreign minister Anders Samuelsen said that his government will withdraw its special forces from Iraq. (AFP)
Updated 17 May 2018
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Denmark to withdraw special forces from Iraq

  • Denmark will continue its contribution in the fight against Daesh with a radar facility and ground staff in Iraq.
  • The country is withdrawing its special forces because Daesh no longer controls large areas in Iraq.

STOCKHOLM: NATO-member Denmark said Thursday its special forces taking part in the US-led coalition against Daesh in Iraq would be withdrawn following the defeat of the extremist group.
"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.

Samuelsen added: "It is important to stress that the fight against IS isn't over yet," adding Denmark would continue its contribution in the fight against Daesh with a radar facility and ground staff.
Up to 60 special forces were sent to Iraq in 2016 to train and advise Iraqi soldiers after a vote by the Danish parliament.
The forces also took part in operations on the Iraqi-Syrian border, providing intelligence and ad hoc air support.
"Their Iraqi partners are now ready to stand on their own two feet," Danish defence minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said in the statement.
"(IS) have been forced away from virtually all the areas which the terrorist organisation occupied in Iraq," he added.
The Scandinavian nation currently has around 180 troops stationed at the Al-Asad air base near Baghdad, where they have been training Iraqi soldiers and Kurdish security forces.


German court rejects call for Catalan leader Puigdemont to be rearrested

Updated 3 min 43 sec ago
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German court rejects call for Catalan leader Puigdemont to be rearrested

BERLIN: A German court on Tuesday rejected a request from prosecutors to take former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont back into custody pending a decision on whether he can be extradited to Spain.
Puigdemont was detained by German police March 25 after crossing the border from Denmark. Spain had issued a European arrest warrant and sought his extradition on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds — charges that stem from an unauthorized referendum last year on Catalonia’s independence from Spain.
He was released April 6 after a German court said it appeared he can’t be extradited for rebellion, the more serious of the two charges. But prosecutors in the northern town of Schleswig argued that new information provided by Spanish authorities suggests that would be possible.
They cited videos showing violence against Spanish police and said in a statement that “the disturbances were on such a scale that prosecutors believe that he should also be extradited over the accusation of rebellion.” The prosecutors argued that the charge is comparable to two offenses under German law — treason and breaching the peace.
They said that Puigdemont would pose a flight risk and called for him to be taken back into custody. The state court in Schleswig disagreed and rejected the request.
Puigdemont remains free with certain conditions, including reporting to police once a week.
The separatist politician has been living in Berlin, frequently receiving political allies from Catalonia including his newly elected successor as regional president, Quim Torra.
The Schleswig court said it is “still open” when a final decision will be made on whether Puigdemont can be extradited. It said that the prosecutors have yet to submit a formal application to examine whether an extradition is possible.