Czech Republic to strengthen its engagement in fight against terrorism in Iraq

On 28 May, during a debate in Czech Television Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický said that during the summer The Czech Republic will send 10 to 15 military police officers to help with the training of the local police force in Baghdad, Iraq. The number of soldiers being sent to Iraq is likely to further increase by 150 in the future. 

The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, said in the debate that Iraq and Afghanistan must have the same priority in the fight against terrorism. He also highlighted the importance of NATO recently joining the coalition against Islamic State. However, he added that the alliance perceives the fighting capabilities of the coalition in Iraq as sufficient, therefore, the main focus will be to provide assistance to internal security forces in Iraq. Specifically, he mentioned training of Iraqi forces and demining of the territory. The Czech Republic has already supplied the Iraqi army with several Aero L-159 ALCA jets and trained local pilots. The fighter jets have played an important role in the fight over Mosul, where the final Iraqi push for Old City is expected in the upcoming days. Moreover, General Pavel also stressed that the new strategy in the fight against terrorism must be interinstitutional, in order to ensure that the causes of terrorism and extremism will be tackled as well.

About author: Tomáš Krajňák

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