Servicemen sent on anti-Daesh mission

Tiina Kaukvere
, daily news editor
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Photo: Sander Ilvest

Within operation Inherent Resolve to fight the terrorist organisation Daesh, six Estonian servicemen travel to Iraq this coming Monday.   

Heading the Estonian unit is Captain Rainer Samarokov, on his first foreign mission. Three have prior experience from Afghanistan and Iraq. For a warrant officer most experienced, the mission is his fifth.  

The Estonians go under authority of Danish armed forced and will be training local police, border guard and army.

«I wanted to personally serve abroad, to see how the various units work together and how the training is organized – in order to bring something with me as I return,» explained the captain.

The precise arrangements at al-Asad air base in Anbar province has not been determined as yet.

The contingent headed for Iraq is composed of 150 Danes, also joined by six Latvian servicemen.

Not focused on Daesh

With Inherent Resolve officially an anti-Daesh mission, Capt Samarokov says they will not focus on that in everyday work.

«We will be teaching how to defend oneself and fellow fighters, makes no difference whether against Daesh or someone else,» he noted.  

As an example of that, the Danish unit teaches how to recognize improvised explosive devices (IED).

«But it cannot be said that only Daesh uses these,» explained Capt Samarokov.

Even so, the servicemen have been updated about the local culture and Daesh, which is the main aim of the operation.

Initially, the Estonian unit is scheduled to stay in Iraq for six months.

Inherent Resolve was launched on June 15th 2014 for direct and supportive anti-terrorist military operations primarily in Iraq and Syria.