Last Danish soldiers leave Iraq

Six of years of military involvement came to a quiet end Danish participation in the coalition force in Iraq came to an end at the start of January, when the last remaining officers returned home. While most of the Danish...

Danish participation in the coalition force in Iraq came to an end at the start of January, when the last remaining officers returned home.

While most of the Danish force left in 2007, six years after after they first troops arrived, six officers remained attached to the international force, which has been known as Operation Iraqi Freedom since 2003.

The UN mandate for the force ran out at the start of the year and the Iraqi authorities have not asked the Danes to remain in the country.

Peter Viggo Jakobsen, a lecturer in security policy at the University of Copenhagen, believes that no invitation was forthcoming as the Iraqis were aware that Denmark did not want to have a continued presence in the country.

Some veterans have expressed disappointment that the withdrawal was not mentioned in any press releases or in the traditional New Year greetings from the head of the armed forces.

But Nils Ole Markussen, a spokesman with the Defence Command, told The Copenhagen Post that they didn’t advertise the withdrawal as it was not a priority.

‘We felt that our big withdrawal at the end of 2007 marked our departure. Afterwards we were only participating at a staff level, with the exception of the security detail at the embassy.’

Between 40 and 50 members of the armed forces remain in Iraq providing security for the embassy, connected with the UN and on a Nato training mission.

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