Canada will continue its mission to provide training, advice and assistance to Iraq security forces and support the Global Coalition in Iraq until the end of March 2021 the government announced today.
Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will also continue to advise Iraqi officials in building a more effective and sustainable defence and security institutions and provide capabilities to regional forces, according to a Department of National Defence (DND) press release.
“The renewal of Operation IMPACT and our shift in focus toward capacity-building reflects Canada’s commitment to working with our partners in the Global Coalition to defeat Daesh and with our NATO Allies. The Canadian Armed Forces has consistently contributed to multinational operations and will continue doing its part by enhancing the institutional capacity of Iraqi security forces,” said Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, during the announcement today.
The extension of Operation IMPACT means up to 850 CAF personnel could be deployed to the NATO Mission in Iraq, a new non-combat training and capacity building mission, and capacity building activities with the Jordanian Armed Forces and Lebanese Armed Forces.
Currently, NATO Mission Iraq includes 250 CAF members including advisors, trainers, headquarters staff and force protection personnel.
Additionally, Canada has deployed three Griffon helicopters, and associated personnel, to assist in in-theatre tactical transport, including casualty evacuations if required.
“Canada is committed to lasting peace and security for the people of Iraq, Syria and the surrounding region. This is why we’re proud to extend our contributions to the Global Coalition against Daesh, including military assistance, and to support NATO activities for peace and stability in the region,” said Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, also present at the announcement today.
The CAF has supported the Global Coalition against Daesh through Operation IMPACT since 2016 and, as a whole, the Government of Canada has contributed more than $2.1 billion toward security, stabilization and humanitarian and development assistance needs in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impacts on Jordan and Lebanon.
In Nov. 2018, Canada assumed command of NATO Mission Iraq.