Canada deploys 60 military advisers to Iraq

16 September 2014 (Last Updated September 16th, 2014 18:30)

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed the deployment of Canadian soldiers to advise Iraqi security forces fighting Islamic State (IS) militants in the country.

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed the deployment of Canadian soldiers to advise Iraqi security forces fighting Islamic State (IS) militants in the country.

Responding to a call for clarification of government statements, which claim that 'several dozen' Special Forces personnel had been deployed this month, Harper said 69 soldiers have been sent.

The deployment follows a US call for a broad international coalition 'to degrade, and ultimately to destroy the threat posed by ISIL', as reported by Agence France Presse.

The Canadian Government had earlier made a commitment to deliver small-arms ammunition, donated by the Czech Republic, to Iraq.

Canadian foreign affairs minister John Baird said: "Canada's facilitation of crucial airlifts is another demonstration of our support for Iraq at this critical time.

"The threat posed by ISIL requires a firm response from the international community and Canada is committed to playing its part."

Canadian Joint Operations Command commander lieutenant-general Jonathan Vance said: "The Canadian Armed Forces' ongoing commitment with their airlift operations to this multinational mission showcases our resolve to stand with our allies and make positive contributions to international security."

As part of Operation IMPACT, the Canadian Armed Forces has already delivered approximately 228,000kg of military supplies to Iraq.

"The threat posed by ISIL requires a firm response from the international community and Canada is committed to playing its part."

In addition, Canada is also providing humanitarian assistance to civilians in Iraq.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi Defence Ministry representative has claimed that the US military has identified between 300 and 350 IS targets in the country.

The representative was quoted by the Voice of Iraq (Sawt Il-Iraq) radio station as saying: "Since early September, American drones have flown more than 100 hours of reconnaissance flights and located Da'esh [the Arabic acronym for IS] camps, training grounds and ammunition warehouses.

"In total, there are 300-350 targets in northern, western and central districts.

"However, Americans have problems with mapping Da'esh compounds because the militants have been relocating every 24 hours lately."

Since early August, the US Central Command has conducted a total of 167 air strikes across Iraq.


Image: Canadian military aircraft have delivered approximately 228,000kg of military supplies to Iraq. Photo: courtesy of the Government of Canada.

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