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Sweden asked to help US in global Isis fight

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Sweden asked to help US in global Isis fight
US President Barak Obama pictured this week. Photo: Saul Loeb/TT
16:36 CET+01:00
Sweden's Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist has been contacted by the US government, asking for support in the fight against the extremist group Isis, also known as IS.
The Nordic country was contacted via a letter from the US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, who wrote to his Swedish counterpart.
 
Hultqvist's press spokesperson Marinette Nyh confirmed to Swedish tabloid Expressen that the letter had arrived "not very long ago" and that a response was being "prepared right now".
 
But Allan Widman, a centre-right Liberal Party politician and chairman of Sweden's parliamentary defence committee said that the Swedish government had not yet consulted parliament on the matter. He said that he had found out about the letter via the media and said that there was "reason to inform" the country's opposition.
 
Widman argued he personally saw "no limits" to how deeply Sweden could get involved militarily, despite the country not being a member of Nato.
 
"I believe that there is no political solution that includes IS (...) it is about a battle of life and death," he told the newspaper.
 
The United States has also asked neighbouring Nordic country Norway for support, with its Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen telling national broadcaster NTB on Tuesday that it had been prompted to help with fighters, special forces and logistics.
 
The Local has contacted Sweden's Ministry of Defence for comment.
 
Last month Sweden backed a French request for help tackling Isis in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks.
 
"We are not at war, but we stand together with France and the EU," said Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.
 
Sweden has already sent around 35 soldiers to train Kurdish forces in Iraq to tackle Isis fighters. Hultqvist recently said that their mission could be extended until December 2016.
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