Five Czech police to temporarily leave Baghdad training centre



09. 01. 2020 • 15:32

The five Czech police officers who are part of the NATO training mission in Iraq will leave Iraq due to the limited operation of the training centre in Baghdad and they will return once its operation gets back to normal, Czech Police President Jan Svejdar said on Twitter today.


Svejdar's spokeswoman Katerina Rendlova told that the withdrawal of the policemen is not connected with the development of the security situation. She pointed out that their mission did not end.

Rendlova said there was nobody to be trained now because the Iraqi police left the training centre.

Svejdar said the police officers would move to the Czech Republic because the training was suspended and the operation of the training centre was limited.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis said after a meeting of the Czech National Security Council today that Czech soldiers and police deployed in Iraq are safe as well as other Czechs who stay in Iraq. He said the country has sources reserved for a possible withdrawal.

Babis welcomed that after the U.S. air attack killing of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last week and Iran's Wednesday missile attack on the allied bases in Iraq, the current steps by both sides indicated that they had no interest in escalation of the conflict.

Czech police have been training the Iraqi armed forces since 2017. The five police instructors are deployed in Baghdad for six months and then they are replaced by a new Czech five-member team.

The Czech military does not plan to withdraw the nearly 40 soldiers operating within the NATO mission from Iraq at the moment.

Czech Defence Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek confirmed the information that all the Czech soldiers are unhurt and safe after the recent Iranian attacks on military bases with U.S. troops in Iraq. The Czech Republic is coordinating its possible further steps with its allies within NATO.