The international response against Daesh has reduced the suffering of the most vulnerable, but the crises in Iraq and Syria persist. Continued support by the members of the Global Coalition Against Daesh is critical for long-term, regional stability. Canada remains fully dedicated to the efforts of the Global Coalition and NATO in the region, and will continue to work with its partners and allies to ensure the defeat of Daesh.
National Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan and the Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland today announced that the Government of Canada is extending Operation Impact, the Canadian Armed Forces contribution to the Global Coalition and the NATO mission in Iraq, until the end of March 2021.
“The renewal of Operation Impact and our shift in focus toward capacity-building, reflects Canada’s commitment to working with our partners in the Global Coalition to defeat Daesh and with our NATO Allies,” said Minister Sajjan. “The Canadian Armed Forces has consistently contributed to multinational operations and will continue doing its part by enhancing the institutional capacity of Iraqi security forces.”
Canada’s current contribution to NATO Mission Iraq includes approximately 250 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, including advisors, trainers, headquarters staff and force protection personnel. Canada has also deployed three Royal Canadian Air Force Griffon helicopters and associated personnel to enhance in-theatre tactical transport, including casualty evacuations, if required. Two RCAF CC-130J Hercules tactical airlift aircraft and crews are supporting the movement of Coalition personnel and cargo in the region.
Under the renewed Operation Impact, the Canadian Armed Forces will continue to provide training, advice, and assistance to the Iraqi security forces, and support the Global Coalition and NATO with highly skilled personnel. It will also continue to advise Iraqi officials in building more effective and sustainable defence and security institutions, and provide capabilities to regional forces.
The Canadian Armed Forces' presence in the Middle East helps regional partners’ security forces to more effectively plan and execute military operations aimed at improving stability in the region.
Operation Impact is the military contribution to Canada’s whole-of-government Middle East strategy, which covers not only security and stabilization, but also humanitarian assistance and diplomatic engagement in Iraq, Syria and the region.
Since 2016, through the Government of Canada’s whole-of-government Middle East strategy, Canada has contributed more than $2.1 billion toward security, stabilization and humanitarian and development assistance needs in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impacts on Jordan and Lebanon.
The two-year extension of Operation Impact includes the authority to deploy up to 850 Canadian Armed Forces personnel in support of the Global Coalition, NATO Mission Iraq and capacity building activities with the Jordanian Armed Forces and Lebanese Armed Forces.
On July 11, 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at the NATO Summit in Brussels, announced that Canada would assume command of NATO Mission Iraq a new non-combat training and capacity building mission in Iraq.
In November 2018, Canada assumed command of NATO Mission Iraq. This leadership role complements Canada’s existing efforts in the Global Coalition and Canada’s ongoing commitments towards creating a safe and stable Iraq.