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Monday, April 18, 2016

CAF Still Unclear when Lethal Support to Kurds will be Delivered

By: David Pugliese, Defence Watch

As the U.S. and other coalition allies begin their deliveries of lethal military equipment to the Kurds, the Canadian Forces has still to figure out when it will do so.

America and its coalition partners have begun arming the Kurdish peshmerga with weapons such as armoured personnel carriers, mortars and anti-tank weapons, the U.S. publication, the Stars and Stripes newspaper reported.

Brig. Gen. John E. Novalis II, deputy commander of the 101st Airborne Division, told the newspaper that the U.S.-led coalition is providing the peshmerga with a significant amount of new gear. “We have decided to give them about two U.S. Army brigades-worth of equipment – heavier stuff,” he said.

The deliveries were approved and coordinated with the Iraqi government. There is concern in Baghdad the Kurds will eventually use such weaponry to support an eventual bid for independence.

The ships include at least 150 vehicles, including 40 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored personnel carriers. Of those fifteen are equipped with mine-rollers.

More details:

-56 million rounds of ammunition

-5,000 anti-tank weapons

-45,000 rifles and machineguns

-700 mortar tubes

-80,000 mortar rounds

-3,600 gas masks

In an email to Defence Watch, the Canadian Forces noted that since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement on February 8 committing Canada to provide weapons to the Kurds, there have been no donations of lethal military equipment.

Planning is underway.

“Further details are not available at this time,” noted that response.

“The Government of Canada remains in close contact with the Iraqi authorities on the implementation of the new strategy, which will be carried out with the full consent of the Iraqi government,” the response added.