The United States has presented Finland with a request for assistance in its fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).
“The request includes both detailed and general items. It identifies a number of different possibilities,” Timo Kantola, a deputy director general at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, reveals in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat.
Ilta-Sanomat reported about the request for assistance already on Tuesday.
The assistance in question is related especially to the operations of the anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq and Syria but not limited to military activities. Kantola refrained on Tuesday both from shedding further light on the details of the request and from speculating on when such details would be made public.
Finnish troops are already stationed in Erbil, Iraq, on a mission to train Kurdish forces in the fight against ISIS.
Norway and Sweden have been approached with a similar request from the United States, according to local news outlets.
Ine Eriksen Søreide, the Minister of Defence of Norway, told the Norwegian News Agency (NTB) according to Dagbladet that the request is mainly related to the provision of training to local troops – a dimension Norway has already participated in – but possibly also to combat duties, logistics support and special operations.
The request for assistance differs from that issued by France to its fellow EU member states in that France was calling for all possible assistance to enable it to free up its resources to operations in the Middle East.