Denmark to send 120 soldiers to Iraq in fight against ISIL

CCTV News

GHE DENMARK ISIL FIGHT 3TD.00_01_57_05.Still002

More than 30 countries are involved in the fight against Islamic State – but how many of those make a material difference on the ground? In February, Denmark will send just 120 soldiers to Anbar province.

CCTV America’s Guy Henderson joined them for final preparations.

Denmark to send 120 soldiers to Iraq in fight against ISIL

Denmark to send 120 soldiers to Iraq in fight against ISIL

More than 30 countries are involved in the fight against Islamic State - but how many of those make a material difference on the ground? In February, Denmark will send just 120 soldiers to Anbar province. CCTV America's Guy Henderson joined them for final preparations.

Follow Guy Henderson on Twitter @guyhendersonsa

In a few weeks, this class will be taking place in a war zone. For now, Danish cadets stand in.

But the real trainees will be Iraqi soldiers.

Denmark’s contribution is more than symbolic.

“We have a very broad quantity of soldiers: experts within counter-IED; experts within artillery and mortars; experts in fighting in built-up areas. So a very small army – a very small country – can actually contribute to a huge task,” Lt. Col. Kenneth Stroem of the 1st Battalion, Danish Royal Lifeguards Regiment, said.

Danish boots have been on the ground for twelve months, preparing their hosts for battle.

These men will be the third rotation.

In February, the Danish Royal Lifeguard Regiment will be overseeing the deployment of 120 soldiers to Anbar Province in Iraq – it is the heart of the battle against Islamic State, and the military base they’ll be in, 158 kilometres outside Baghdad, is actually inside ISIS territory.

And not far from the key city of Ramadi – re-taken, by a reinvigorated Iraqi army two weeks ago.

But the battle nearby goes on.

“The risk is that we maybe end up seeing Islamic State being fragmented from the inside but then we will have a new very, very messy civil war situation that we do not know how to handle,” Lars Andersen of the Danish Institute For International Affairs said.

But right now the Iraqi army is advancing. And these Danish soldiers will prepare them for the fight ahead.