Canada renews its military contribution to support stability in the Middle East
The international response against Daesh has reduced the suffering of the most vulnerable, but the crises in Iraq and Syria persist. Continued support by the members of the Global Coalition Against Daesh is critical for long-term, regional stability. Canada remains fully dedicated to the efforts of the Global Coalition and NATO in the region, and will continue to work with its partners and allies to ensure the defeat of Daesh.
On March 18, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that the Government of Canada is extending Operation IMPACT, the CAF contribution to the Global Coalition and the NATO mission in Iraq, until the end of March 2021.
Under the renewed Op IMPACT, the CAF will continue to provide training, advice, and assistance to the Iraqi security forces, and support the Global Coalition and NATO with highly skilled personnel. It will also continue to advise Iraqi officials in building more effective and sustainable defence and security institutions, and provide capabilities to regional forces.
The CAF’s presence in the Middle East helps regional partners’ security forces to more effectively plan and execute military operations aimed at improving stability in the region.
Op IMPACT is the military contribution to Canada’s whole-of-government Middle East strategy, which covers not only security and stabilization, but also humanitarian assistance and diplomatic engagement in Iraq, Syria and the region.
Since 2016, through the Government of Canada’s whole-of-government Middle East strategy, 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.
The two-year extension of Op IMPACT includes the authority to deploy up to 850 CAF personnel in support of the Global Coalition, NATO Mission Iraq and capacity building activities with the Jordanian Armed Forces and Lebanese Armed Forces.
On July 11, 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at the NATO Summit in Brussels, announced that Canada would assume command of NATO Mission Iraq a new non-combat training and capacity building mission in Iraq.
In November 2018, Canada assumed command of NATO Mission Iraq. This leadership role complements Canada’s existing efforts in the Global Coalition and Canada’s ongoing commitments towards creating a safe and stable Iraq.
Canada’s current contribution to NATO Mission Iraq includes approximately 250 CAF personnel, including advisors, trainers, headquarters staff and force protection personnel. Canada has also deployed three Griffon helicopters and associated personnel to enhance in-theatre tactical transport, including casualty evacuations, if required.