On the 26th of August 2014, the Norwegian government endorsed a royal resolution that paved the way for Norwegian participation in the international coalition.
The resolution gave the Minister of Defence authorization to send staff officers to relevant headquarters. Since November 2014 Norway has contributed with staff officers in Erbil, Bagdad and Kuwait. The officers participate in planning and management of the international efforts to fight ISIL in Iraq. The Norwegian staff in Erbil ended their mission in June 2017, while the officers in Bagdad and Kuwait continue their missions. Since May 2017 Norway has also contributed with staff officers at the Ayn al-Asad air base in Anbar province.
Norwegian force contributions
On the 6th of March 2015, the Norwegian government gave its consent to send a Norwegian force contribution to Iraq. The Norwegian forces´ tasks were to instruct and train Kurdish personnel, Kurdish units and Iraqi security forces. The aim was to improve the Iraqi forces ability to stop ISIL's advance and, in the long run, fight ISIL in Iraq. The Norwegian forces did not have a mandate to follow the Iraqi forces into battle.
The first Norwegian contingent of instructors from Telemark Battalion entered Erbil in Northern Iraq in May 2015. The Armoured Battalion took over this mission in January 2017. The Norwegians taught the local forces military skills on the individual and unit level. The training took place in training camps in the area. In November 2016, the Norwegian instructor contribution was reduced, as the need for training in basic military skills in Erbil decreased.
On the 10th of March 2017, the Norwegian Government decided that the Norwegian forces would move from Erbil to the Anbar province in Western Iraq. As ISIL are being pressed and deprived of control over territory in Northern Iraq, forces from the coalition are needed other places in Iraq. The coalition considers Anbar to be one of the areas where the forces are needed the most.
In July 2017, a Theatre Enabling Force consisting of engineers from the Army and communication officers from the Cyber Defence were deployed to set up the Norwegian forces facilities at Ayn al-Asad Air base.
From the middle of August 2017 Norway will contribute with an advisory force consisting of about 60 soldiers who will train and advise the leadership of the Iraqi security forces on the brigade and division level.
In September 2016, a Norwegian surgical team consisting of three doctors and three nurses, were in place in an American field hospital in the vicinity of the Norwegian camp. Their mission was to treat allied soldiers, as Erbil has a well-functioned health service that the Peshmerga soldiers and civilians use.
The Norwegian personnel consisted of experienced doctors and nurses from the Norwegian Armed Forces Joint Medical Service, the Navy and the Army. The mission lasted for six months. In March 2017, it was replaced by a German surgical team.
From June until September 2017 Norway participate with a surgical unit at a Role 2 field hospital at the Ayn al-Asad air base in the Anbar province.
Soldiers from the Norwegian Special Forces operated in Baghdad from Spring 2015 until Spring 2016. They were a part of the American-led capacity-building efforts in Baghdad.
The extremist terrorist group The Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has gradually emerged as a threat to global security. The terrorist group is also known as al-Dawla al-Islamiya, Iraqi al-Sham (Daesh), Arabic for the "Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham."
Earlier, the terrorist group had close ties to al-Qaeda, but al-Qaeda distanced themselves from the group, allegedly because they thought that ISIL was too brutal. ISIL is one of several militant Islamist groups fighting against government forces in Syria and Iraq.
ISIL took control over large areas in Iraq and Syria. They are a serious threat to safety and stability in the whole region, and affect the threat picture in the rest of the world.ISIL is extremely brutal and violent, and the Iraqi authorities have asked the international community for help to fight the terrorist group. ISIL has stated that it is ready to attack Western targets.
The world reacts
The 15th of August 2014 the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2170 under the binding Chapter VII United Nations Charter. The Resolution strongly condemns ISIL's massive, systematic and gross violation of human rights. It concludes that ISIL's attacks on civilians on the basis of ethnic or religious identity might constitute crimes against humanity.
ISIL is against democracy and wants to defeat everyone who are not so-called true believers, which also includes Muslims who do not have «the right faith».
ISIL´s goal is to establish a radical Sunni Muslim caliphate in the Levant- a region which includes Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus and Turkey. The leader of the terrorist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, encouraged Muslims throughout the world to take up arms and flock to a self-proclaimed caliphate. Al-Baghdadi claimed that a caliphate was established in occupied parts of Syria and Iraq, and called himself a caliph.
After ISIL established their self-proclaimed caliphate, the terrorist group started to call themselves "The Islamic State". The name change aimed to signalize ISIL's belief that they had come closer to achieve supranational authority within the framework of Islamic statehood.
The Norwegian Armed Forces therefore consistently uses "ISIL" when we talk about the terrorist group.
Iraq requested the United States to participate in the fight against ISIL. The United States established a coalition consisting of more than 60 countries and organizations that aims to fight the terrorist group. Inside the coalition, a core group consisting of 20 countries, was established. Norway is one of the countries in this core group. The operation is called Inherent Resolve.
The coalition helps the Iraqi government within five areas: to fight ISIL military, stop the recruitment of foreign fighters, slow down ISIL's ideology, stop the funding of ISIL and stabilize the areas that are freed from ISIL's control. Norway will actively contribute within all these areas.