Denmark said on Friday it would not extend a six-month mission for seven F-16 jets taking part in a U.S.-led coalition focused on attacking Daesh terrorist group targets in Syria and Iraq.
The seven jets, four of them operational at any one time, have been stationed at Turkey's Incirlik airbase. They have served in combat, and also taken part in surveillance and reconnaissance missions over Syrian airspace.
Last month, former Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen visited Turkey and said their military staff working at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey were "very pleased" with the cooperation it had received at the airbase in Turkey's southern Adana province in the fight against Daesh.
The decision came three days after the Pentagon said a September air strike in Syria by American, Australian, British and Danish planes -- that reportedly killed some 90 regime forces, instead of Daesh fighters -- was caused by a string of miscommunications, intelligence shortcomings and human errors.
"We have decided to withdraw the Danish fighter jets as planned," Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen told journalists after a meeting with parliament's Foreign Policy Committee.
"Instead of extending the mission we are sending an additional 20 to 21 troops," he said.
Defence Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said the new troops would bring engineering and construction skills to the operation.
"They will train Iraqi forces in, among other things, de-mining operations and will help our current contribution within training," he said in a statement.
In the second half of 2016, Denmark provided the U.S.-led coalition with seven F-16 warplanes -- four of them operational at any one time -- a C-130J transport aircraft and 400 military personnel, including 60 special forces troops.
The transport aircraft would also be withdrawn from the operation, the government said.
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