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US asks Norway to join Isis fight in Syria

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US asks Norway to join Isis fight in Syria
Norwegian troops in Iraq. Photo: NTB Scanpix
12:28 CET+01:00
The Norwegian Ministry of Defence has confirmed that it is considering a request from the United States to up its contributions in the fight against Isis.
The United States has asked Norway to contribute fighter jets, special forces, logistics support, demining or medical capacity in the fight against the terror group Isis in Syria, the Defence Ministry confirmed on Tuesday. 
 
“The inquiry we have received was a request for more of what we are currently doing in Iraq, namely educating and training the Iraqi security forces. There are also questions about contributing fighter jets, logistics support and special forces, things I would assume other countries have also been asked,” Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide told NTB. 
 
When asked if the US request applies directly to Syria, Søreide said “our opinion is that this applies broadly”. 
 
On Monday, a ministry spokesman said that the Americans' request would receive “careful consideration”.
 
"Important question"
Conservative leader Trond Helleland , a member of parliament's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, told NTB that he expects parliament to take up the issue. 
 
“I assume that parliament will be consulted on such an important question,” Helleland said on Monday evening. 
 
Labour party leader Jonas Gahr Støre said that his party will consider the request when it comes to parliament. 
 
“It is important that the global community stands together in the international fight against ISIL. We look forward to hearing the government's response to any new requests from our allies,” he said. 
 
Until now, Norway has kept its military contribution contained to Iraq as one of over 60 countries contributing to the US-led coalition against Isis. Among other things, Norwegian forces have trained Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq and the Iraqi army in the Baghdad area. 
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