First batch of Czech soldiers from chemical unit leaves for Kuwait
Vehicles and soldiers from a Czech biochemical warfare unit were loaded onto a military transport plane on Monday as part of the Czech Republic's commitment to a possible war against Iraq. According to a Czech Army spokesman, the plane is the first of six aircraft scheduled to fly some 130 soldiers and 40 vehicles to a military base in Kuwait from a Prague airfield over the next few days. Following a US request for reinforcement, the Czech government gave its army the green light to deploy more than 350 members of the special unit whose experts can detect biological, chemical and radiological weapons on battlefields. The unit, however, can only enter Iraq if there is a UN mandate or weapons inspectors find proof of Iraq using biochemical or nuclear weapons.