Denmark to Deploy Special Forces to Fight ISIS in Syria

Danish authorities
Policemen stand outside a house in Ishoj, Denmark, April 7, 2016. Denmark has sanctioned special forces to fight ISIS in Syria. Asger Ladefoged/AFP/Getty

Denmark has sanctioned special forces to fight the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Syria.

A NATO member, Denmark is already part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS in Iraq. But on Friday, following a request from the coalition, the Danish parliament extended their remit to the war-torn neighboring country, where the militant group controls the eastern city of Raqqa.

"The fight against ISIL is an important foreign and security policy priority for the government," Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen told public broadcaster TV2, using another acronym for ISIS, according to AFP news agency.

Denmark has so far contributed 400 military personnel to the coalition, including 60 special forces troops. It has also provided seven F-16 jets and a C-13OJ transport plane.

Danish authorities have also been monitoring and arresting suspected ISIS supporters within the country. In April, Denmark's PET security service detained four suspected ISIS members in Copenhagen, seizing weapons and ammunition.

In February 2015, two people in separate incidents at a free speech event and a synagogue in Copenhagen by a gunman who had reportedly sworn allegiance to ISIS.

In October 2015, PET said that some 125 Danish nationals had traveled to join ISIS in Iraq and Syria, 27 of whom had died while fighting for the group.

The militant group also held Danish hostage Daniel Rye captive in northern Syria for 13 months between 2013 and 2014.