MS v hokeji 2022
MS v hokeji 2022

Slovak soldiers leave Iraq

Slovak soldiers leave Iraq

"With regards to the current situation in Iraq, which has led to the suspension of NATO training mission activities, the seven Slovak soldiers have been temporarily relocated away from the country in line with security regulations," reads a statement issued by Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini on Tuesday.

This step comes two days after several members of the Security Council decided that Slovakia would not withdraw its seven soldiers from the Iraqi mission for now. The Sunday extraordinary meeting was initiated by Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini after being addressed by Defense Minister Peter Gajdos. The discussion over the soldiers' presence in Iraq was put on the table after the Friday attack on Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani. "Similarly to how we came to this mission with soldiers of other nations and countries, we must act together when taking further steps," Pellegrini said. He added that it is not currently possible to travel individually by plane to Iraq to retrieve the seven soldiers. The government's aircraft cannot land in Bagdad right now, added the Defence Minister.

It was Parliamentary chairman Andrej Danko who voiced his critical stance towards the USA, condemning the assassination and called for an immediate withdrawal of the Slovak soldiers from Iraq at the weekend. "I am asking Prime Minister not to be a coward and send a plane for the Slovak soldiers," Danko wrote. Pellegrini replied that withdrawal of the soldiers without an agreement with NATO allies would jeopardize the soldiers' lives.

On Tuesday, German newswire Deutsche Welle informed that Germany would partially withdraw its troops from the region too.

Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani was killed on January 3 in Baghdad, Iraq by an air strike carried out by the US army at the behest of US President Donald Trump.

Martina Šimkovičová, Photo: TASR

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