Czech Republic could send troops in the fight against IS 42311151

Defence & Security News - (Czech Republic)
Czech Republic could send troops in the fight against IS
The Czech Armed Forces are ready to send troops in the fight against the Islamic State. According to the Czech Defence Minister, Martin Stopnicky, the country is ready to address France’s call for support against the jihadists in the Middle East.
Czech Republic could send troops in the fight against IS
Czech Army troops on a MEDEVAC mission during an exercise. (Photo: Czech Army)

Last week, the Czech Army shipped a significant quantity of munition and hand grenades to the Iraqi Army and the Kurdish fighters. USAF’s cargo planes delivered the first tons, while additional shipments will follow in the next days. In addition, the MoD will soon decide on how to proceed with the sending of a batch of 6,000 weapons of various types to the Iraqis and Kurds.

Further to the French Government’s request for additional support in the fight against the Islamic State, the Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky, said that the Armed Forces are ready to contribute to the international initiative with additional forces. Nevertheless, as he said, the final decision would be taken on a bilateral basis with their French counterparts. Therefore, the assistance provided could have many forms.

Giving an example, Martin Stropnicky said that the country could take some additional responsibilities in Mali, where Czech troops serve along with the French, in order to allow the latter to focus more on the IS front in the Middle East.

He also stated at the Czech Television, that another possible option is the deployment of around 200 medical and CBRN troops, in case of a ground operation. However and for the time being, such an operation is not on top of the list due to the fact that it could sparkle an increase in the refugee influx towards Europe or provoke more terrorist attacks.

The minister also said that sending a field hospital is an idea that has a 62% support by the Czech public opinion, according to a research by “Median” agency, which was conducted for the Czech Television. In general, 80% of the citizens are in favour of the country joining the effort against the Islamic State.