Canada will assume command of a new Nato training objective in Iraq for its first year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed Wednesday.
At the prompting of the United States, the Western military alliance will conduct what’s known as a “train the trainer” objective to much better develop the abilities of the Iraqi army to support the nation and avoid the re-emergence of groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The mission will include up to 250 Canadian soldiers deployed to Baghdad and the surrounding area, along with as much as 4 Griffon helicopters.
It will be commanded by a Canadian major-general, and Canadian troops will supply the bulk of the headquarters staff. The force will secure the numerous other NATO trainers who are expected to start their operate in July.
The choice addresses two vexing political problems for the Liberal federal government.
It had committed to keeping Canadian soldiers in Iraq up until 2019, however considering that the battlefield defeat of ISIS, there have actually been concerns about what they will do.
Canadian unique forces soldiers were training both Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Iraqi army soldiers in the country’s north, but that program was put on hold following a break out of violence last fall when the Kurds voted extremely for independence.
Ammunition to rebut Trump
Leading the Training Mission in Iraq — together with a NATO battle group in Latvia — likewise offers Trudeau ammunition to rebut criticism levelled by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has actually been firmly insisting allies pay more and satisfy the alliance’s defence costs targets.
Canada has actually had a small contingent of combat engineers in Iraq under the NATO flag, advising Iraqi forces on how to clear unexploded bombs and booby traps.
Trump has actually firmly insisted NATO do more to counter militants, however European members of the alliance have actually been reluctant to undertake a bigger role following the decade-long, open-ended dedication in Afghanistan, that included both a battle and training mission for local forces.
There has been substantial dispute at the defence ministers’ level about which country would safeguard the fitness instructors and provide transport.
Canada has had helicopters in Iraq as part of its existing objective. Those airplane will remain to help the brand-new NATO effort.
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