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Denmark said Thursday its special forces taking part in the US-led coalition against Daesh in Iraq would be withdrawn following the defeat of the extremist group.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


Key allies quit Duterte Cabinet to run in midterm elections

Updated 17 October 2018
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Key allies quit Duterte Cabinet to run in midterm elections

  • More than 18,000 government posts are up for grabs, including 12 seats in the 24-member Senate

MANILA, Philippines: Close allies of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have resigned from his Cabinet to run in elections next year that will test his popularity and could determine his future political influence.
Among those running in the May 13 midterm elections are Duterte’s former foreign secretary, who staunchly defended him from international criticism of his deadly anti-drug crackdown, his spokesman, his political adviser and a longtime aide. Aspirants have up to Wednesday to register as candidates.
More than 18,000 government posts are up for grabs, including 12 seats in the 24-member Senate, which stymied efforts by Duterte allies this year to rapidly open the country’s constitution to amendments and allow a shift to a federal system of government.