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Canada to extend anti-ISIS mission in Middle East

OTTAWA (CU)_Canada’s Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan announced on Tuesday (30 March) that the government will be extending its military contribution to the ongoing battle against the remnants of the ISIS.

According to a statement issued by the Department of National Defence, Ottawa will extend what is known as “Operation IMPACT” until 31 March 2022. The purpose of the Operation is to build military capabilities and assist in developing conditions for security and stability in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

The Defence Ministry said that this one-year renewal of the mission will enable the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to work with partners and allies to assist the Iraqi Security Forces, the Jordanian Armed Forces and the Lebanese Armed Forces by providing training and capacity-building assistance.

“Canada will remain a reliable partner in multinational operations around the world,” Sajjan said. “By renewing Operation IMPACT, we are reinforcing Canada’s support to our NATO Allies and our partners in the Global Coalition, and continuing our important work in the Middle East.”

Operation IMPACT was launched in 2014, after ISIS militants who swept out of the Syrian civil war proceeded to capture neighbouring Iraq.

Since then, Canada has been consistent in providing military support within the region, with a substantially larger contribution in 2018 and 2019, when the North American nation led the NATO Mission in Iraq (NMI). Subsequently, Denmark took over command of the mission in November last year.

While Canada’s current contribution to NMI includes 17 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, however, the one-year extension of Operation IMPACT provides the government the authority to deploy up to 850 CAF personnel to support NMI and capacity-building activities with the Jordanian and Lebanese Armed Forces.

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