On Thursday Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski reported that Poland would send 300 servicemen to Afghanistan. The head of the Polish state held a meeting with prime-minister Leszek Miller who presented the request of the US government to send a Polish unit to Afghanistan to support the anti-terrorist operation. According to Kwasniewski, the Polish contingent is expected to leave for Afghanistan in the second half of January next year. The unit will comprise only professional servicemen: sappers, specialists in the area of biological and chemical defense as well as men from special service forces. Polish Defense minister Jerzi Szmajdinski reported that the contingent would be sent to Afghanistan for half a year. Financial cost of the operation, according to him, will amount to about USD 2.5 million.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea