Defence Minister Jüri Luik began a visit to Iraq on Tuesday, where he met with the country's defence minister Najah Al-Shammar, NATO and U.S.-led military operations leaders, and Estonian troops serving in Iraq.
Luik said the Estonian Defense Forces have a significant advantage in training wth the Iraqi Armed Forces and Border Guard because they have experience of what it means to practically scratch the Armed Forces.
"The Iraqi armed forces still have a long way to go. Nevertheless, today they are the main force that has managed to keep Daesh (ISIS) under control," said Luik.
At a meeting with the Iraqi Minister of Defense, Luik discussed the security situation in Syria. Ministers acknowledged that the release of prisoners from ISIS would have serious consequences for the whole region, including Iraq.
On Tuesday, Luik also met with Major General Dany Fortin of Canada on the NATO mission to Iraq and Major General Gerald Strickland, the Deputy Commander of the United States-led operation Inherent Resolve. He also met with Estonian troops serving in the operation to gain an overview of their activities.
Estonia is contributing to the United States-led international military operation Inherent Resolve with a six-member training team and one senior officer in a multinational team advising Iraqi ministries and the security forces.
Editor: Helen Wright