Source AP ©

Denmark: special forces sent for special problem in Iraq

Special forces are sent to Iraq by Denmark to reinforce its 460-strong contingent near Basra. The reason is “to resolve a special problem”, a military spokesman said Saturday.

The troops are already on their way after a decision made by Defense Minister Soeren Gade on Friday, said Hans Vedholm, a spokesman for Denmark's armed forces.

Vedholm said he could not say how many soldiers were deployed in the operation, nor what it was about "because it would be disastrous for our soldiers."

"We're talking about some forces that are going down to solve a special problem," Vedholm said.

"They're not supposed to stay until August, they are just there for this specific task," he said, declining to give details.

Denmark announced on Feb. 21 it would withdraw its contingent in southern Iraq by August and replace it with a smaller helicopter unit. Vedholm said Friday's decision was not related to that announcement.

The Danes serve under British command in the southern city of Basra.