As Iraqi security forces make progress in the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Canada’s vow this week to expand its contributions in the fight is a welcomed commitment, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said on Wednesday.
Warren noted in his weekly counter-ISIL operational update via videoconference from Baghdad that the Canadian government announced on Feb. 8th that it plans to triple the size of its train, advise and assist mission. A move that is welcomed, the colonel added.
“Canada will increase its compliment of military personnel to approximately 830,” he said. “They will deploy troops at various headquarters to further support planning, targeting and intelligence. As part of these efforts, Canada will deploy medical personnel to train Iraqi medics and to provide medical support to coalition members.”
Warren added, “Canada will also provide equipment such as small arms, ammunition and optics to assist in the training of Iraqi security forces.”
The Canadians “have been a trusted and valuable partner of this coalition since the beginning of the campaign, whether it’s providing aerial refueling and surveillance aircraft or trainers to advise and assist, they’ve shown great resolve and continue to enable this fight,” the colonel said.
Gains Continue, Despite Threats
As clearance operations continue in Iraqi-controlled Ramadi, “untold thousands of [improvised explosive devices]” remain in the city, Warren said, and threats persist from enemy harassing attacks and acts of terror.