Turkey's ongoing military operation in Syria complicates the situation as Lithuania is considering possible deployment of its troops to Syria, Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Raimundas Karoblis says.
Turkija pradėjo sausumos puolimą prieš kurdus
© AFP / Scanpix

The minister said on Thursday there were no plans for a mission of Lithuanian troops over the upcoming months, and it could take place only after all security measures were taken and only in territories outside Turkish and Russian military influence.

"To be honest, the launch of Turkey's ongoing operation in northeastern Syria complicates the situation, and swift stabilizing decisions are necessary," Karoblis told journalists in Rukla, central Lithuania.

Nevertheless, the minister underlined that Lithuania "has to respond to allies' requests" to fight the Islamic State group as it posed threat to the Western civilization.

Lithuania is also considering sending its special operations troops as one of the options under consideration, and they would act in the northeastern part of Syria but not the one inhabited by Kurds.

The Lithuanian government and army are currently considering the United States' request to send troops to Syria to join the Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State. Lithuania has already contributed to the mission in Iraq where six army instructors are training Iraqi troops.

Discussions in Lithuania mainly center on whether sending troops to Syria would be in line with international law amid the absence of approval from the local government.

The mission's supporters say Lithuania should show solidarity with the United States as Lithuania's national security depends on relations with the United States.

BNS
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