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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Still No Additional CAF Deployment to Iraq; As US Deploys 217 Special Forces and Apache Helicopters

Written by: Daniel Maillet, CAF Dispatch 
April 19, 2016, 8:00AM

Back on April 4, 2016, a report published by David Pugliese of The Ottawa Citizen noted that the additional 200 CAF members the Liberals announced in February to be deployed to OP IMPACT to fight ISIS in Northern Iraq had yet to be deployed. That is still the case as of today. Canada needs to quicken it's response times.

Within two weeks of the announcement of the withdraw of CF-18 Fighter jets, the RCAF had ended airstrikes against ISIS; and had sent 4 of the 6 CF-18's to Romania on bilateral training. Yet nearly three months after the announcement of 200 trainers to Norther Iraq to advise and assist Peshmerga forces, there has been no major movement. Canada's 69 Special Forces members are still alone; despite the announced deployment of Griffon Helicopters to help them move around the region.

Yet, today the United States announced it will immediately deploy 217 additional US Army Troops to Northern Iraq as well as send Apache helicopters to the region for the first time to continue its fight against ISIS, according to a US Defense official who spoke with The National Post.

Apache Helicopter Land at Camp Bastion Airfield, Afghanistan Photo: MOD 45153345
The US's announcement and deployment is intended to further help Iraqi and Kurdish forces retake Mosul and Raqqa from the hands of ISIS. It is expected that the majority, if not all the 217 will be special forces members. The additional troops will bring the US troop level in Iraq to around 4,087.

Canada does not lack the lift capacity to put our 200 additional forces on the ground, it would seem the country is just dragging it's feet on the additional deployment.