Estonia to send team to help train Iraqi forces in fight against Islamic State group
Part of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the US-led military intervention against the Islamic State group which began in July 2014, involves the training of security forces in Iraq, and Estonia would like to contribute to the cause with a six-member training team.
The Ministry of Defence’s initiative must be approved by the Riigikogu. The draft resolution states that in addition to the six-member training team, Estonia is prepared to contribute further, for example by providing additional staff officers, but the mission is not to exceed a total of ten members of the Estonian Defence Forces.
According to the draft resolution, Estonian active duty forces would be sent to Anbar Province in Iraq, where they would initially be working together with forces from Denmark. Estonian forces, whose mission would run from July to December of this year, would not be taking part in military operations on Syrian territory.
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.
Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso expects a response from the Riigikogu within the next five days.