Slovak soldiers to go to Iraq

Proposal still needs to approval by the government.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme )

Slovak soldiers are gradually preparing for deployment to Iraq. The country has offered them for the mission during the May NATO summit in Brussels. The soldiers will mostly help to train Iraqis to clear mines and to repair Russian tanks.

Though information that 28 soldiers are already preparing for the recently established NATO Training and Capability Building – Iraq (NTCB-I) mission has already been published on the respective website, the proposal has not been discussed by the government yet, the SITA newswire reported.

The main task of the Slovak soldiers will be to secure the mine safety of all members of the unit and local inhabitants, reads the press release published on the internet. The soldiers still have to undergo training in the facilities in Lešť (Banská Bystrica Region) and Sereď (Trnava Region), SITA reported.

Before the May summit in Brussels, the Slovak government approved the document containing the offer to deploy soldiers to Iraq. It concerned 47 soldiers who were to leave in November 2017.

Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš (nominee of the Slovak National Party) said at the time that with this offer, Slovakia wants to support the stabilisation of the security situation and building the armed forces in Iraq. Clearing the mines is one of the main conditions for the safe return of people to their homes after liberation from the Islamic State’s control, SITA reported.

Of more than four million people, only 1.4 million can safely return home by now as the area is full of explosives and mines.

Iraq is also interested in training its soldiers to maintain the Soviet technologies it currently owns, SITA wrote.

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