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Friday, September 2, 2016

CAF to Train Jordanian Forces to Fight ISIL

In a brief statement released by the Department of National Defence, Canadians learned that the Canadian Armed Forces had deployed personnel to Jordan late last month as part of a “training assessment team” to research how Canada might train the Jordanian Armed Forces for the fight against ISIL.

Capt. Vincent Bouchard, a spokesman for Canadian Joint Operations Command Headquarters, confirmed that a “small group” of Canadian soldiers has arrived in Jordan with the goal of establishing periodic training programs, but said their identity and exact numbers cannot be disclosed for reasons of operational security.

“In support of the Government of Canada’s comprehensive strategy and commitment to international peace and stability, Op IMPACT’s refocused mission is intended to help set the conditions for the long-term success of regional partners, including through contributions to Building Partner Capacity in Jordan and Lebanon,” Bouchard said in an email, referring to Canada’s contribution to an international effort to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Bouchard did not say whether a similar group of Canadian Armed Forces members is currently operating in Lebanon.

“Building Partner Capacity in these two countries will promote increased security, contributing to regional security and stability,” Bouchard added.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned last year on a pledge to end Canada’s combat mission against ISIL. The government ended Canada’s airstrikes against the group in February, but Canadian planes are still conducting reconnaissance and refueling flights. And Canada’s revised mission against ISIL, also announced in February, involves the deployment of increased numbers of Canadian special operations trainers in northern Iraq, and the promise of intensified engagement with allies in the region such as Jordan and Lebanon.