Lebanon to remain top mission for Estonian defense forces next year
The UN peacekeeping mission United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) will remain the biggest international mission for the Estonian Defence Forces in 2017 as well, it appears from a bill that has exited the Ministry of Defence extending the mission by one year until Dec. 31, 2017.
According to the bill, the size of the Estonian contingent on the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon may be temporarily increased to 100 active duty personnel for a period of no more than one month.
The Estonian platoon currently serving in Lebanon, ESTPLA-21, is made up mainly of members of the B Company of the country's professional Scouts Battalion and is the fourth rotation of Estonian infantry to serve on the UN's peacekeeping mission in Lebanon. The Estonian platoon stationed there serves as part of a joint Finnish-Irish battalion.
Together with staff officers, some 40 Estonian military personnel are currently serving in Lebanon.
Estonian peacekeepers, who had already served in Lebanon in 1996-1997, rejoined UNIFIL at the end of May 2015. A total of 40 countries contribute to UNIFIL.