Norway Sends 120 Soldiers to Iraq, Two Opposition Parties React

Previously Norway had decided not to send jet fighter to Iraq due to sour relationship with Russia in arctic but the government will send 60 soldiers to Erbil in north Iraq and 60 soldiers to the capital Baghdad. In addition, 75 soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan, writes NRK.

In Iraq, Norway will provide a military contribution to the international coalition to combat IS. Norwegian soldiers will educate and train the Iraqi forces.

– Our purpose in this is to answer the need of Iraq to reduce the terrorist threat Isil poses, not only in Iraq and the region, but also against the West, says Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide to NRK.

During the press conference on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Erna Solberg also supports Søreide by explaining why they think it is necessary to involve in the war against IS.

– We have all seen shocking images of the suffering caused by Isil. We cannot sit and see that this will continue. We have a responsibility to ensure this not to spread, she said.

Solberg stressed that the terror group is also a threat to Norway’s security.

She further noted that Norway must be prepared for attacks against its forces in Iraq and an increased terror threat at home.

Center Party: Norway is not a Military Power but Humanitarian Super Power

The Center Party (Sp) and Socialist Left (SV) do not support the government’s plan to send Norwegian troops to Iraq, while Labor Party and Christian Democrats (KrF) have no opposition.

Talking to NRK, the Centre Party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum believes Norwegian politicians and the Norwegian defense know too little about how a Norwegian contribution can actually make a difference.

Vedum says that Norway should rather focus more on the fronts.

– We are not a military superpower, but we are a humanitarian superpower. We believe that Norway can make a real difference in the region by focusing more heavily on the humanitarian efforts, he says.

On the other hand, Labour Party and Christian Democratic Party supports the military contribution. 

Labor Party politician Anniken Huitfeld says her party endorses the government’s decision to send troops to Iraq.

She believes the situation for civilians in Iraq had been even worse if the US had not intervened.

Similarly the Christian Democratic Party supports sending Norwegian troops to Iraq.

– A military contributions from the West is the desire of an overall region. Around 50 countries are participating. The situation is completely different than eleven years ago, says Hareide to NRK.


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