Iraqi Kurds ask Canada for military training, equipment after being frozen out - InfoNews

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Iraqi Kurds ask Canada for military training, equipment after being frozen out

A Canadian special forces soldier, right, speaks with Peshmerga fighters at an observation post, Monday, February 20, 2017 in northern Iraq. A senior representative for Iraq's Kurdistan region is inviting Canada to once again provide training and equipment to Kurdish security forces, who worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Canadian soldiers in the war against the Islamic State group before being frozen out in 2017.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
June 24, 2019 - 7:00 AM

OTTAWA - A senior representative for Iraq's Kurdistan region is inviting Canada to once again provide training and equipment to Kurdish security forces, who worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Canadian soldiers in the war against the Islamic State group before being frozen out in 2017.

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Iraqi Kurdistan's top diplomat in Washington, insists there isn't any resentment toward Canada for suspending and later ending years of military assistance to the Kurdish military forces two years ago.

The move followed an outbreak of violence between the Kurdish and Iraqi government forces over control of oil-rich territory in the north of the country liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

But Abdul Rahman says the Kurds continue to need both training and equipment to defend the region from ISIL and other threats — and any Canadian assistance would be welcome.

The federal Liberals recently extended Canada's military mission in Iraq through 2021, with much of the focus on training Iraqi military forces rather than the Kurds despite the previous close partnership.

Abdul Rahman is also asking Canada not to turn its attention away from her country, warning the situation in Iraq remains extremely fragile despite ISIL's military defeat.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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