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Defence Ministry wants to send medical unit to Iraq

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Prague, Sept 13 (CTK) – The Czech Defence Ministry wants to send a medical unit to Iraq, Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) told journalists yesterday, adding that he will submit the plan to the government for approval soon, and then it will need the consent of parliament.
The ministry would also like to send military instructors to Iraq next year, according to daily Pravo out yesterday.
The Czech Republic could send a field surgical team to Iraq to treat wounded Iraqi and allied soldiers.
“The team would be relatively small, comprised of about 15 people. It will not be a hospital but a medical unit,” Stropnicky said.
He said the team could be sent to Iraq for six months, after which its stay may be extended.
“If it is approved [by the government and parliament], which I expect to happen, it would be another form of our aid,” Stropnicky said.
Earlier this summer, the Czech Republic sent air instructors to Iraq to train pilots of Czech-made L-159 combat planes.
The Czech Defence Ministry believes that its help to Iraq will contribute to the stabilisation of the situation there and lower local people’s motivation to leave for Europe.
The ministry plans to send up to 30 soldiers to Iraq by the end of 2018.
Apart from the medical staff, who would operate in the U.S. Navy’s military hospital some 70 kilometres south of Mosul, Czech military instructors would arrive in Iraq in 2017 to train Iraqi soldiers. They would not interfere in the fightings nor would they help the Iraqi soldiers during the fights.
The ministry has estimated the costs of the planned missions at 167 million crowns.
($1=24.074 crowns)

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