The Czech Republic is deploying five multirole fighter jets to protect Iceland’s airspace for six weeks while Canada partakes in US-led operations against IS, announced the country’s defence minister Petr Medek.
The Czech government made the decision on Wednesday after the defence ministry received a request from NATO’s headquarters two weeks ago, explained Medek.
NATO member states alternate in protecting Iceland’s airspace as the North Atlantic nation does not have military aircraft. Czech jets will have the job in July and August while their Canadian counterparts are deployed to the Middle East to join the ongoing fight against IS.
IS has gained control of large swathes of land across Syria and Iraq, and an international coalition led by the US has been carrying out airstrikes in both countries since September last year, targeting a number of key Islamist positions.
IS-linked organisations also operate in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan and have been behind a number of terrorist attacks in Europe.