Turkey extends UNIFIL mission one more year
UN peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon patrol on their vehicle in Mays Al-Jabal, June 7. REUTERS PhotoParliament July 2 voted to extend the mission of Turkey’s troops in Lebanon under the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission for one more year.
The General Assembly’s decision marks the eighth of such extensions for the participation of Turkey’s troops in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) since they initially approved the mission in September 2006. It will take effect starting September this year.
Having been established in 1978 in order to monitor the border between Lebanon and Israel, UNIFIL’s mission was extended and enlarged to include Lebanese troops after the 2006 war between the Jewish state and Hezbollah.
In September 2013, a Turkish engineering and construction military company operating under the command of UNIFIL returned to Turkey as part of a Turkish pullout from the operation.
While the mission of the engineering and construction troops has been terminated, the Turkish Naval Forces have continued their duty under the UNIFIL command in Lebanon with a frigate as part of the Maritime Task Force.
As of May 27, 2014, UNIFIL’s force consisted of a total of 10,247 peacekeepers from 37 different countries, with 54 troops from Turkey.