The Irish Anti-War Movement

Czechs to withdraw most of its troops from Iraq & increase troops in Afghanistan

Czechs to withdraw most of its troops from Iraq

Czechs to withdraw most of its troops from Iraq

PRAGUE, Czech Republic: The Czech government approved a Defense Ministry plan to withdraw 15 of its 20 troops from Iraq and increase the number of troops in Afghanistan by 230 next year, an official said Wednesday.

Czech officials consulted with the country’s allies about the withdrawal from Iraq, Deputy Defense Minister Martin Bartak said. He said the remaining servicemen will train Iraqi officers.

Earlier this year, the Czech Republic withdrew 80 of its 100 troops from Iraq.

The number of Czech troops serving in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan will reach 645 next year, Bartak said.

Up to 415 Czech servicemen can serve in the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan this year.

The Czech Republic will also continue to participate in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo with up to 550 soldiers in the mission known as KFOR, he said.

A total of 1,386 Czech servicemen will be deployed in foreign missions in 2009, Bartak said.

Parliament still needs to approve the deployment.

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