Gov’t queries anti-ISIS battle tactics |

Gov’t queries anti-ISIS battle tactics

Bohuslav Sobotka
Bohuslav Sobotka
Pavel Otto

Pavel Otto

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Ground operations against ISIS are necessary, but they do not require the direct involvement of European soldiers. That was the line taken by prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrat) after talks held with heads of the Czech security services. “The key to solving the situation in Syria is not ground operations, but an agreement between Russia and the United States. The key is a deal between the countries participating in the Vienna dialogue,” he said.

In Sobotka’s stated view, the 28 EU member states could provide air strikes, deliver munitions, dispatch experts and help with military
training. Reservations about the operations against the Jihadist extremists were also expressed by the Social Democrat foreign affairs
minister Lubomír Zaorálek. Previous interventions of the West had only essentially strengthened the extremists in Zaorálek’s eyes.

“The necessity of ground operations against ISIS is spoken about. We should remind ourselves how foreign intervention has eventuated in four wars, those of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria,“ added Zaorálek. He said he was convinced that prior to any strikes there should be an indispensable requirement to get an agreement between the big powers and the strong regional players
in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The chiefs of the Czech armed forces, police and intelligence services have meanwhile agreed that security measures brought in following the Paris atrocities should be maintained at the same level. They involve, for instance, guarding important offices and airports.

At this year’s annual 17 November solemn gathering in memory of the students who in 1939 fell victim to the Nazis, PM Sobotka declared that the waves of migrants had brought the shadow of war to Europe. Solving the migrant crisis would require greater
decisiveness from European leaders and the reinstatement of security along EU external borders, he said.

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