Czech Republic pulls troops from Iraq over coronavirus

stock photo
stock photo

The Czech military said on Tuesday it had pulled 30 soldiers from their missions in Iraq over concerns about security and the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"A military Airbus A-319 with 30 Czech army soldiers... from Iraq landed at the Prague-Kbely (military) airport on Tuesday evening," the defence ministry said in a statement.

The troops were part of Operation Inherent Resolve or NATO Mission Iraq, as well as chemical training corps and military police.

"We are temporarily pulling our soldiers because of significant restrictions to operating tasks," said Major-General Josef Kopecky.

"The reasons include security threats, the current coronavirus epidemic and also a planned restructuring of both missions," he added.

Iraq imposed a total nationwide lockdown over the novel coronavirus on Sunday, reporting 20 deaths and 233 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease as of then.

The Czech Republic had 1,394 cases and two deaths as of Tuesday.

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