Canada is Building up its Military Presence in Iraq. Involved in Mosul Offensive?

The Canadian authorities have indirectly confirmed that its military are taking part in the international coalition’s offensive in Mosul and are engaged in close combat with ISIS terrorists. It took more than two years for the government to recognize the evident.

The Canadian army has been fighting ISIS since 2014 when, violating the principles of international law, US President Barack Obama approved of a targeted military involvement.

Then, IMPACT, a special program against ISIS, was designed. The Canadian government claimed that advisers sent to Iraq wouldn’t be engaged in military actions and that their involvement would be incomprehensive and end in short terms.

It should be noted that initially, the previous government headed by the Conservatives decided to send 70 instructors and six military aircraft to Iraq. Later, the new Liberal government built up the number of troops in the country. Along with this, while in opposition, the Liberals blamed the conservative government for the fact that the Canadian military took part in combat instead of training the Iraqi security forces.

Eventually, the newly-elected government decided to deploy extra 200 troopers in Iraq who now are engaged in the ground military operation on the side of the Kurdish Peshmerga units. The Canadian military were spotted by a Reuters correspondent by Hassan Shami village several km to the east of the frontline. He stated that troopers spoke in English and had maple leaf insignias.

This information was confirmed by other sources. The National Post reported in May that Canadian forces were on the frontline helping Peshmerga to recapture Mosul.

According to official statements of the Canadian government, the military are really engaged in military action in Iraq but are solely defending themselves. It’s unclear, however, how the Mosul offensive can be considered ‘defensive.’

In his turn, Canadian Special Forces Commander Michael Rouleau confirmed the Canadian involvement in military actions and noticed that troopers are engaged in a “substantial” number of clashes with terrorists.

Probably, Rouleau’s statements had a specific purpose. First of all, they are a part of the information campaign to justify the Canadian engagement in the offensive side by side with Kurds which has been exposed in photos published in social media. The active participation requires heavy weaponry that will lead to increased number of boots on the ground.


This reminds one of Afghanistan when Canada covertly deployed their Joint Task Force 2, elite special forces, in mid-2001. Then, only in January 2002, it was officially announced that Canadian troops had joined the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul.

Now, once again, the government claims the military won’t be engaged in combat but in reality they are participating in combat activities.

It should be reminded that the liberals’ electoral campaign the previous year included a promise to put an end to all Canadian military involvement in Iraq.

Articles by: Sophie Mangal

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