A Kazakhstani contingent of peacekeepers has left Kazakhstan to join the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the Kazakhstani Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday.
The contingent, which consists of around 120 servicemen, will take part in patrolling the Blue Line in South Lebanon alongside Indian peacekeepers. The troops will also be involved in manning checkpoints and guarding military bases.
The Kazakhstani peacekeepers met their country’s Defense Minister, Nurlan Yermekbayev, before departing on their 6-month mission after self-isolating for a full month and taking 2 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests.
In order to qualify for the mission, servicemen were required to pass a series of psychological examinations, according to Caspian News.
Kazakhstani troops have been participating in the peacekeeping mission in Lebanon with UNIFIL for nearly 5 years. The first rotational Kazakhstani unit arrived in the country on October 31st, 2018, and was deployed as part of the Indian battalion.
The mission in Lebanon is regarded as Kazakhstan’s first major peacekeeping activity led by the United Nations and the second major mission that the Kazakhstani military has participated in since its involvement in Iraq in the early 2000s.