Polish Sector in Iraq Watch II

As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday was when Polish soldiers started to fly out to their security mission as part of the occupying forces in Iraq – via a first stop in Kuwait. Amid continuing light-to-non-existent coverage in the on-line Polish press, at least an article in today’s on-line Gazeta Wyborcza does discuss these events, but not in any great amplitude. We do find out from which airports the soldiers are flying out (Goleniowo, near Szczecin – up near the Baltic coast – and Strachowice, which is Wroclaw’s airport, and so way down in Lower Silesia near the Czech border). But we don’t find out how many flights, when they will actually take off, or how many soldiers will be in each such airplane – this is confidential for security reasons, as Polish Defense Ministry press spokesman Colonel Eugeniusz Mleczak explains to the Gazeta Wyborcza reporter. All told, 2,400 Polish soldiers will be in Iraq, taking care of Poland’s assigned security zone there, joined by contingents from other nations, under Polish command, to result in a total of over 9,000 soldiers to work with in that sector.

All Polish soldiers taking part in Poland’s peace-keeping mission in Iraq, the article states, are volunteers.

A brief accompanying article (apparently transcribed from a Radio TOK FM broadcast) reveals that the Polish chemical warfare contingent which is already in Iraq is soon to be withdrawn back to Poland – no word on when, no word on how many soldiers make it up – because it is no longer realistic to talk of a chemical threat there.

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