Estonia to send team of up to 10 to aid international operation against Islamic State group ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonian soldiers.
Estonian soldiers. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

The Riigikogu approved the Ministry of Defence’s initiative to send up to 10 members of the Estonian Defence Forces to join Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the US-led military intervention against the Islamic State group which began in July 2014.

The goal of the international operation is direct and supporting military action against the Islamic State group, primarily in Iraq and Syria, reported ETV’s nightly news broadcast “Aktuaalne kaamera.”

Estonia initially plans to send a training team of military instructors up to six members in size to Anbar Province to assist other countries’ teams in training Iraqi security force units.

“The goal of this mission is to participate in a training mission together with Danish allies,” explained Marko Mihkelson (IRL), chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu. “[Our] servicemen will be instructors who will help Iraqi security forces to better handle Islamic State combatants and the challenges facing Iraqi territory.”

Mihkelson added that the region where Estonia’s servicemen will be headed is familiar enough from earlier times.

Costs related to participation in the operation are to be covered from the budget of the Ministry of Defence’s area of government. The 2016 budget has approximately 120,000€ earmarked for Estonian Defence Forces-related operation costs.

Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik