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GALLERY: Estonian peacekeepers in Lebanon practice defending base

The Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) platoon ESTPLA-23, which is currently serving on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeeping mission, practiced defending their base on Sunday and Monday.

"A direct attack against peacekeepers is rather unlikely, but considering previous units' experiences and the variability of the situation in the region, we must be prepared to manage possible dangers," said ESTPLA-23 commander 2nd Lt. Oliwer Nõlvak.

ESTPLA-23 took over responsibility of UN base 6-50 from the Finnish Defence Forces and will continue to fulfill peacekeeping duties near the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel, known as the Blue Line, for the next two months.

UN base 6-50 is enclosed by barriers featuring observation and defense positions, includes a helipad and features similar conditions to those of the home base 2-45.

Current Estonian platoon sixth to serve in Lebanon

A total of nearly 40 members of the EDF are currently serving in Lebanon, the majority of which are members of platoon ESTPLA-23, which is based primarily on the professional Scouts Battalion's B Company.

The primary mission of the platoon, which serves as part of the Irish-Finnish Battalion, the only international battalion currently serving on the UNIFIL mission, is to conduct patrols in Southern Lebanon and man lookout towers along the Blue Line.

A total of 40 countries contribute to UNIFIL. ESTPLA-23 is the sixth Estonian unit to serve in Lebanon.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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