Prague, June 23 (CTK) – About 70 Czech soldiers were awarded by Chief-of-Staff Josef Becvar for their operation abroad at a Prague ceremony today, including military doctors returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, pilots returning from Sinai and soldiers who served in Bosnia and at the allied command in Afghanistan.

The Czech military doctors based northwest of Mosul treated soldiers who were wounded while liberating Iraq and Syria from IS.

During their six-month mission, the doctors operated on more than 50 Iraqi soldiers and civilians, mostly for serious gunshot and splinter wounds, doctor Petr Gerabek told CTK.

They also treated the allied troops who got injured at the military base, while sporting for example.

The 17-member Czech medical team also faced a mass casualty situation (MASCAL), or simultaneous admission of many patients, several times.

“There were more mass casualty situations recently. One day, six patients were brought in simultaneously, two of whom were immediately operated on. During the surgery, four new patients turned up,” Gerabek said.

Becvar said the military is preparing the departure of further soldiers to Iraq. Military police officers are to leave for the country at the end of the year.

“In cooperation with the Czech police, the unit will help train the Iraqi police,” Becvar said.

The soldiers awarded today include an air force unit that was ensuring the transport of allied troops and materiel by the CASA planes within the Multinational Forces and Observers (MFO) mission in Sinai, aimed to supervise the observance of peace between Egypt and Israel.

Two soldiers returned from the Althea mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of them, Martin Zelenka, said his task was to teach the protection against mass destruction weapons to Bosnian soldiers. He said the situation in Bosnia is calm, but a risk is posed by the finds of war ammunition and by numerous mine fields.

“Landslides occur now and then, caused by weather, and the mine fields move,” Zelenka said.

At present, a total of 400 Czech soldiers operate in 14 missions abroad.

“Our soldiers’ performance in individual operations has been assessed as very good. [The participation in the mission] is very important for us to fulfil our commitments as an ally, and also for our military experts to gain experience,” Becvar said.