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Estonia's Operation Inherent Resolve troops gifted sauna in Iraq

The sauna gifted to Estonian Defense Force members serving in Iraq.
The sauna gifted to Estonian Defense Force members serving in Iraq. Source: Estonia Defense Forces

Defense Forces' (EDF) troops serving in Iraq were gifted a sauna by Estonian companies to "invigorate their body and spirit" during their deployment.

"The support of the people of Estonia, including businesses, is an important acknowledgment and motivator for soldiers deployed on military operations to carry out their duties with even more enthusiasm away from home," said Lt. Col. Vladimir Kolotõgin, commander of the Estonian contingent.

He added that the sauna has made the Estonian camp much cozier.

The Estonian and mission flags have been hung outside, which the EDF says shows the importance of the facility.

Estcoy-19 company Commander Major Priit Lillemets said the sauna, donated by Ecosaun and Saunum, has already been used.

The sauna gifted to Estonian Defense Force members serving in Iraq. Source: Estonia Defense Forces

"The members of the Defence Forces in the mission area have always appreciated the sauna, as it invigorates the body and the spirit and is something truly homegrown," he said, in a statement.

Estonians have a tradition of building saunas on deployments aboard. In 2019-2020, EDF forces serving in Mali, west Africa with the United Nations constructed two at their bases in Timbuktu and Gao.

Operation Inherent Resolve is a U.S.-led international military operation in Iraq. The operation aims to defeat Daesh and increase regional stability.

Estonia participates in a multinational military-strategic team advising Iraqi ministries and security forces. By participating in the operation, Estonia is increasing the security of Europe and NATO, the Ministry of Defense says.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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