Denmark will open embassy to Iraq in Baghdad this year

Denmark is assuming control of NATO's training mission in Iraq in December. The European Union member has also trained PMU forces in the fight against the Islamic State.

al-monitor Danish troops seal off a road following an attack on their convoy in al-Hartha area, north of the southern Iraqi city of Basra, Sept. 8, 2005.  Photo by ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP via Getty Images.

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operation inherent resolve, nato, charlie hebdo, islamic state, baghdad, embassy, denmark

Sep 10, 2020

Denmark will open an embassy in Baghdad this fall. The move comes as the NATO member prepares to assume command of the military alliance’s training mission in Iraq later this year.

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the announcement on Thursday. The opening of the embassy shows Denmark’s commitment to a lasting defeat of the Islamic State (IS) so that the group does not threaten Europe in the future, the ministry said.

Denmark is a member of the US-led anti-IS coalition that supports Iraqi security forces. The coalition, officially known as Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, includes other NATO members as well as Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Denmark is part of the European Union.

There are already Danish soldiers in Iraq serving in the coalition, and the country will begin leading NATO’s Iraq training mission in December. Denmark’s elite Jaeger Corps has also trained part of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Units in the country in the past.

The embassy in Baghdad will add to Denmark's representation in the region. The country already has embassies in neighboring Syria, Turkey and Iran.

Danes have been affected by IS. In 2015, a man who killed two people in the Danish capital Copenhagen reportedly swore allegiance to the group.

The wider conflict involving Islamist groups and the West has also played out in Denmark. In 2006, the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten printed controversial caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Many Muslims consider images of the prophet blasphemous, and the incident prompted angry protests throughout the Muslim world. This month, the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was attacked by IS in 2015, reprinted the images.

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