TALLINN - The Estonian government on Thursday decided to support a proposal of the Ministry of Defense to expand the parliamentary mandate for the participation of Estonia in the US-led international military operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq to be able to increase the participation if necessary.
The ministry wants the maximum size of the Estonian contingent to be increased to 20 personnel from the present 10 personnel.
Tuuli Duneton, head of the policy planning department at the Estonian Ministry of Defense, told BNS on Wednesday that a bigger mandate would enable Estonia to be flexible in its response to changes in the security situation in Iraq and the nearby region and increase its input in support of the United States.
Estonia has been taking part in operation Inherent Resolve since August 2016, when a six-strong training team started service in the composition of a Danish contingent in Iraq's Al-Anbar province. The unit is mainly tasked with providing military training to Iraqi security forces. In addition, one senior Estonian officer is serving in the multinational military-strategic team advising Iraqi government ministries and security forces in Baghdad.
Estonian military personnel do not take part in military operations in the territory of Syria.
The costs of participation in the operation will be covered from the budget of the Ministry of Defense. The amount envisaged for that purpose in the budget for next year is 609,000 euros.