Hungary is prepared to evacuate its military contingent from Iraq should the international coalition it belongs to decide to end its presence in the country, Defense Minister Tibor Benkő said on national television channel M1.
“As a result of the Iran-U.S. conflict, the Hungarian Armed Forces are constantly assessing the situation in the operations theater and is prepared to react immediately should the need arise,” Benkő said. He added that for now, Hungary has suspended its training mission in Iraq, but is performing its other duties.
Hungary has a 200-strong military force in Iraq, mainly in the Erbil area, where it is involved in partnership-building, training of local forces, installation security, and convoy protection duties. The Hungarian Parliament last November extended the Hungarian contingent’s Iraqi presence, allowing it until the of 2021.
Benkő also said that currently the Hungarian contingent in Iraq is “not operating at the highest alert level”, but did not specify what the current alert status is. He also said that the Hungarian military presence in Iraq is based on a bilateral agreement between the two countries.
“If we are asked to withdraw the Hungarian troops, we will do it, but until then, the mission remains,” Benkő said.
Title image: Hungarian Defense Minister Tibor Benkő (source: honvedelem.hu)