Lithuanian Troops in Iraq are Safe, Communication is Constantly Kept with Soldiers and Mission Leadership
(Source: Lithuania Ministry of Defence; issued Jan 08, 2020)
Lithuanian soldiers serving with the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS/ Daesh in Iraq reported to the Defence Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces they were not harmed by the missile attacks on coalition bases by Iran over the night. Lithuanian military personnel where not at Al Asad air base during the attacks. The Defence Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces is in constant touch with the Lithuanian troops and mission leadership.

Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis and Chief of the Defence Staff Maj Gen Gintautas Zenkevičius will comment on the situation of Lithuanian soldiers in Iraq at 1245 today.

NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) has been conducted since 2004 in order to train local security forces. Military personnel are not mandated to take part in combat actions, their training activities have been suspended for the past few days.

Currently, out of the Lithuanian contingent in NMI of 9, 4 soldiers with the Deployable Communications and Information Systems Module (DCISM) are serving at Taji Airport and 2 – at Camp Union, their task is to ensure security of communication for NATO forces. 3 Lithuanian soldiers have already been redeployed to the military base in Kuwait.

Lithuania has been taking part in the US-led Operation in Iraq, Inherent Resolve, since 2017, with a constant contribution of 6 military instructors training local security forces. Lithuanians are serving in the Danish Contingent in north-western part of Iraq, Al Asad air base. Training activities of the mission have been suspended for the past few days.

15 Lithuanian soldiers are currently deployed to the NATO Mission Iraq as part of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS/ Daesh. Taking into account the deteriorating security situation in Baghdad and changes in the stance of Iraq’s Government, international commanders took additional measures to ensure personnel protection: security level at military bases has been elevated, limitations have been placed on military personnel movement, training activities have been halted. The additional security measures applied by mission leaderships are adequate to the situation; Lithuanian military personnel in the mission are currently safe.

Part of the NATO Mission Iraq personnel have been relocated from Baghdad to a military base in Kuwait by a leadership decision, the remainder will be moved in the nearest while.

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