Czech defense ministry signs deal to train helicopter pilots from Iraq's air force

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The Czech Defense Ministry says it has signed a deal with Iraq to provide training to 31 helicopter pilots from the Iraqi air force.

The ministry says the training in the Czech city of Pardubice will take 12 months and is scheduled to start early next year. Iraqi is facing a militant uprising and needs international military help.

The ministry has already agreed to sell to Iraq 15 Czech-made L-159 light combat planes, and the Czech government has approved a plan to provide the Kurdish military with 500 metric tons of ammunition to fight Islamic State militants. The delivery of the ammunition begins Thursday.

Next week, the Czech Interior ministry is expected to announce details of another plan to send Czech officers to Iraq to rain Kurdish police.