Canadian troops to take lead role with army field hospital in Iraq
Canada has pledged to contribute an army field hospital in northern Iraq as France and the United States plan to take an active role in retaking Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, from the stronghold of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Speaking from Washington, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will be taking the lead role in the Role 2 army field hospital.
“This is the one skill we have a lot of experience in,” Sajjan told reporters in a media teleconference Wednesday.
The field hospital will be setup in an undisclosed location and at a safe distance from frontline combat.
Up to 60 CAF personnel will be part of the field hospital. It will be lead by the CAF for a period of one year, and then the situation will be reassessed, said Sajjan.
Sajjan and more than 30 counterparts from around the world and NATO members have been invited by U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter to discuss the future steps of the campaign against ISIL.
As the Global Coalition plans to retake Mosul, Sajjan stated that securing the political future of the country is the most crucial step in ensuring the defeat of terrorist organizations like ISIL.
“The military will do its part we need to focus on the next step which is making sure there is political stability,” said Sajjan.
Above image: Harjit Sajjan walks past an honor guard as he arrives to attend a meeting of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, July 20. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)