President asks Seimas to allow sending up to 40 troops to fight jihadists

The draft resolution provides for contributing up to 40 military and civil defense personnel to the US-led military operations Inherent Resolve and Spartan Shield. The current mandate from the Seimas allows sending up to 30 instructors to Inherent Resolve and only for the purpose of training the Iraqi armed forces. Six Lithuanian instructors are currently taking part in the operation.

The new resolution does not specify what country Lithuanians may be sent to to help in the fight against the jihadists. The US-led coalition is fighting the jihadists not only in Iraq, but also in Syria.

The number of troops allowed to be contributed to other operations would not change.

The proposal to step up Lithuania’s contribution to international operations was endorsed on Monday by the president-chaired State Defense Council. It was announced after the council’s meeting that Lithuania’s participation in international operations would increase by 30 percent in the next two years.

The current mandate for Lithuanian troops’ participation in international operations expires on Dec. 31, 2017.

Around 90 Lithuanian troops are currently serving in nine international operations and missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Ukraine, Mali, Central the African Republic and the Mediterranean.

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