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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Canada in Iraq - Is the Coalition Beginning to Break?

When the campaign against ISIS began back in September 2014, the West kept saying that success would only happen if countries in the Middle East where part of the Coalition, and played leading rolls. That way it wouldn't be seen as just another Western intrusion into the Middle East. Well it was revealed by the New York Times that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ended its participation in the air war in December 2014.

The UAE is a key US and Canadian ally in the Coalition air campaign against ISIS, and they ended their bombing of ISIS targets in December over fears for their pilots safety following the capture of the Jordanian pilot that was killed this weak by ISIS.

The UAE says they will not rejoin the air war unless the United States increases its Search and Rescue capabilities in Northern Iraq. The UAE has even specifically asked that the US ensure that its V-22 Osprey be available to Northern Iraq. If this is the case, it could need a closer base of operations than its current location in Kuwait.

Another issue for the UAE is the growing role Iraq is being allowed to play in the fight against ISIS. The UAE is uncomfortable with Iraq's increased role. How can it not increase? The fighting is going on in Iraq! This is not like the fighting is taking place in the UAE and the Iraqi military is in the UAE.

This divide is significant because the UAE has been the US's biggest Arab ally in the fight against ISIS, and if the divide grows any more it could cause more problems for the Coalition against ISIS. That could mean Canada might be asked for more of a commitment.

To read the original article from the New York Times,  see the link.

 UAE Disengaged ISIS in December