Norway participated in taking the last ISIS bastion in Iraq

IraqIraqi security forces deploy in Rawah, 175 miles (281 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. Iraqi forces backed by the U.S.-led coalition retook the last town in the country that was held by the Islamic State group, more than three years after the militants stormed nearly a third of Iraq's territory, the Defense Ministry said. (AP Photo/Osama Sami)

Norwegian army soldiers participated in the final battle of the Iraqi city of RAWA, which was reclaimed in an Iraqi offensive last week.


Lieutenant Terje Bruøygard, who led the Norwegian forces, said the mission was a positive experience.

‘We feel we’re on the right side. It’s a good feeling to help release a country,’ he told NRK news. The officer talked to the news channel from Camp Midgard in Anbar Province in western Iraq.

Approximately 60 Norwegian soldiers assisted Iraqi forces in the Eufrat Valley during the past two months, as part of the international coalition against the Islamic State (IS).

According to Bruøygard, preliminary figures indicate that between 10 and 20 Iraqi soldiers were killed, while 60 were injured, and Norway’s forces helped recapture RAWA. Nobody in the coalition, and thus none of the Norwegian soldiers, were injured.

The Lieutenant also claimed that ‘few or no’ civilians were injured, but added that buildings, infrastructure, and railways were ruined.

With the victory in RAWA, termed IS’s last bastion in Iraq, Bruøygard believes that the IS soldiers have now realised that it’s impossible to resist the forces that are fighting against them.

‘IS has no hub, or cities that they control. They own nothing, but a significant number of IS warriors are not accounted for. The threat level is sky high. The Iraqis are excited about the next actions’, he said.

The Norwegian soldiers have the task of planning, and carrying out, military operations in the desert cities of Anbar province, and since the Iraqi leadership operates in the field, the Norwegian forces were also at the center of the war actions when Iraq declared a statement about IS in RAWA.

However, they were not involved in combat actions, Bruøygard emphasised, who also saw no war crimes in connection with the operations in Iraq.


©  NTB Scanpix / Norway Today