Estonian MoD's press release
The Defense Forces Unit of the Estonian Special Operations Command began its service in Operation Takuba in Mali this week. The Estonian special forces will be stationed in the same Gao base, where the group of Estonians serving in the Barkhane operation and the national support element are already located.
"Estonian special forces are participating in the operation at the invitation of France and Mali. We have also operated in desert conditions before and we are applying these experiences in Mali, "said Lieutenant Colonel Margus Kuul, Commander of the Special Operations Command.
"The activities of special forces have a strategic impact, because terrorism knows no borders. Special operations must be carried out where it has the most effective effect on terrorists, "said Lieutenant Colonel Kuul, adding that the Estonian Special Forces have received the best possible training to perform important and complex special tasks.
France proposed to Estonia and other European countries to increase their contribution to Operation Barkhane with the Special Operations Unit and to start cooperating with special forces in advising the Malian armed forces.
To this end, a Takuba target unit was set up in the Barkhane counter-insurgency operation to provide training, advice, assistance and support to the Malian armed forces in carrying out the operations.
The French counter-insurgency operation Barkhane aims to support the fight against Islamic extremists in five Sahel countries (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad) and thus to contribute to the fight against illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings towards Europe.