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September 23, 2014

Czech Republic will not join fight against Islamic State

High-level gov’t officials say this is not a fight in which the country should get involved


Prague, Sept. 23 (ČTK) — The Czech Republic is not considering joining air attacks on the positions of radicals from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh) in Syria and Iraq, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, ČSSD) and Defense Minister Martin Stropnický (ANO) said today.

Police President Tomáš Tuhý said the Islamists are not a security risk to the Czech Republic.

Sobotka added, however, that the National Security Council (BRS) will debate the danger they represent.

“We have supported the effort at stabilization of the Iraqi state, but we do not expect to participate in the operations,” Sobotka said.

He said the Czech Republic is sending 500 tons of ammunition to the units of Iraqi Kurds who are fighting the Islamic State.

Stropnický told the Czech News Agency that the Czech Republic is not considering deploying its fighter planes in the region in the foreseeable future.

The major risk now is the rebels, who were fighting in Syria and Iraq, and who are now returning to France and other European countries.

He said these people could join terrorist activities in other countries, but added “the Czech Republic does not have any information that anyone from its territory would be participating in the activities of the Islamic State.” Tuhý confirmed this view.

Stropnický supported the attacks on the fundamentalists’ positions. He said it is important that Arab states from the region, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, also participate in the air operations.

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