Six members of the Estonian Defence Forces will be heading to Iraq to join the international Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the US-led military intervention against the Islamic State group, also referred to as Daesh.
The six Estonian soldiers will be traveling to Iraq on Monday under the authority of the Danish armed forces, where togther they will help train local police, border guards and armed forces, wrote Estonian daily Postimees (link in Estonian).
Together with another six Latvian soldiers, the six Estonian servicemen will be joining 150 Danish soldiers on their mission.
The Estonian forces are initially slated to remain in Iraq for a period of six months.
Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso stated at a press conference in May that Denmark invited Estonia to take part in their mission, and Estonia chose to accept their invitation. According to the minister, the mission will likely last longer than six months, and so at the end of the year the Estonian government will request from the Riigikogu a mandate for extending the mission by one year.
The Ministry of Defence expects that Estonian participation in OIR will cost approximately 120,000 euros, which will be covered from the ministry's own budget.
OIR, which began on June 15, 2014, is focused on both direct and supportive antiterrorist activity primarily in Iraq and Syria. Participants in the operation include Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, and the US.
Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik