Canada to expand mission against ″Islamic State″ in Iraq | News | DW | 18.03.2015
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Canada to expand mission against "Islamic State" in Iraq

The Canadian government plans to broaden its mission in northern Iraq to fight militants of the "Islamic State." More details will be announced next week.

Ottawa was going to extend its mission in northern Iraq, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters on Wednesday.

Canada's mission in northern Iraq, a stronghold of the militant jihadist organization "Islamic State" (IS), began last year in October and would end in March this year. Prime Minister Harper said his government would request an "extension and expansion" of the mission in parliament.

69 Canadian special forces soldiers were sent last year to train the Kurdish peshmerga forces fighting IS militants, although their role has not been free of controversy. The Canadian mission was billed as noncombat and Ottawa's troops were far behind the front lines, although one soldier was killed in a friendly fire incident. The mission also includes six fighter jets and 600 airmen and women.

Canada's troops are part of a US-led coalition to wipe out the IS, which has taken over large parts of northern Iraq and Syria. The militants aim to establish an Islamic caliphate based on Sharia law.

mg/jil (AP, Reuters)

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