Lithuania to send more troops to Iraq

Lithuania plans to increase the number of troops involved in NATO’s training mission in Iraq, the presidential office and the Defence Ministry told BNS on Tuesday.

President Gitanas Nausėda has put a draft resolution before the parliament, Seimas, suggesting to increase the troops numbers.

“This mandate is being changed in response to a request from Denmark, which is taking over command of the mission, to increase the Lithuanian troop contingent taking part in NATO’s military training mission in Iraq,” presidential adviser Darius Kuliesius told BNS.

Currently, up to 11 troops and civilian personnel can take part in the military training operation in Iraq. The president is proposing increasing the number to 50.

Vita Ramanauskaitė, an adviser to Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis, told BNS that as the number of combat tasks implemented by the US-led coalition Inherent Resolve is decreasing.

Meanwhile, the need for training and strategic advice tasks is growing in a bid to help the Iraqi government to create its own security forces.

Denmark, which is taking over command of the NATO training mission in Iraq as of October, has asked the three Baltic states to increase their contribution.

“Lithuania, just like other Alliance members, considered their possibilities to increase its contribution to the operation,” Ramanauskaitė said, stressing that Lithuanians troops will not take part in combat missions in Iraq.


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