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Home NATIONAL50 more soldiers to be sent to Iraq
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Fri, 15 Apr, 2016 12:09:16 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Apr 15
 
Finnish peacekeepers in Bangui, Central African Republic. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
Parliament on Thursday unanimously approved a proposal for increasing the troops involved in crisis management operation in Iraq in a year’s time.
 
Many lawmakers, however, raised concern about the safety of the troops due to the high-risk operation.
 
Finland will send 50 more soldiers to Iraq in September to reinforce training activities behind the frontline.
 
The 50 troops deployed earlier are tasked with training Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in basic military skills in Erbil, northern Iraq.
 
The Finnish unit will also lend advisory support to the Kurdish security forces at brigade and battalion levels.
 
The troops face the danger of suicide attacks and roadside bombs as well as the danger of chemical weapons. Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö said the threat of chemical weapon’s use in the region is real.
 
“Protective materials such as protective equipment and detectors have been dispatched to the mission. We are trying to get new contribution in respect to expertise in the field of protection,” said Niinistö, adding that the Finnish unit uses leased armoured vehicles.
 
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