Lithuanian soldiers moved from attacked Iraqi base to Kuwait

  • 2020-01-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Six Lithuanian soldiers who served at an Iraqi military base attacked by Iranian missiles were redeployed to Kuwait on Thursday, the military said. 

"Soldiers have landed in Kuwait and are in a military base in the country," Captain Andrius Dilda, a spokesman for the Lithuanian Defense Staff, told BNS on Thursday afternoon.

The Lithuanian soldiers trained local forces fighting the Islamic States at the al Asad base as part of a Danish contingent.

Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said earlier on Thursday that the decision to move the military instructors had been made by Denmark.

"Yesterday, the Danes made the decision to temporarily move the soldiers whose task was to train (...) to Kuwait," he told reporters.

The redeployed Lithuanian troops participate in the US-led operation Inherent Resolve.

Another six Lithuanians are serving in a NATO-led mission in Iraq. They remain in the country for the time being.

According to Karoblis, it makes no difference where the troops are based, because the training of local forces has been suspended due to heightened tensions in the Middle East. 

The minister says the redeployment is temporary and the troops will be moved back to Iraq once it is decided to resume training. 

"Since no training is physically taking place, there's no major difference whether they (the troops) are in Iraq or Kuwait," he said. 

Another six Lithuanians are serving in a NATO-led mission in Iraq. They remain in the country for the time being.

Iran earlier this week launched a missile strike on two Iraqi military bases housing US-led troops in retaliation for the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a US airstrike.