Denmark suspended training of Iraqi forces amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran for the assassination of a top Iranian general by an American airstrike, according to a statement Saturday from the Danish Army.
The decision was made due to security concerns and to protect Danish soldiers in Iraq, according to the statement.
Danish soldiers were training Iraqi counterparts as part of the U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve. There are about 200 Danish troops stationed in Iraq. NATO announced Saturday that forces were suspending training operations in Iraq.
Qasem Soleimani’s death marked a dramatic escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which have often been at a fever pitch since American President Donald Trump decided in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw Washington from a 2015 nuclear pact world powers struck with Tehran.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who gave Soleimani the country’s highest honor last year, vowed “severe retaliation” in response to his killing.
Soleimani was the long-time commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, which was designated a terror group by the U.S. The group is estimated to have 20,000 members.