Canadian Armed Forces Personnel now Advising, Assisting Iraqis near Hawija

News Release

September 21, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

As part of Canada’s whole-of-government strategy in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria, and following the liberation of Mosul by Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), the Canadian Armed Forces are now providing advice and assistance to ISF in the area around Hawija, Iraq.

Canada has also sent a small team of Canadian Army engineers to observe ongoing explosive threat training that the ISF are receiving under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Training and Capacity Building – Iraq mandate. This is the first step in plans for highly-skilled Canadian combat engineers to provide this training to ISF later this fall.

With the liberation of Mosul by ISF, the military coalition’s campaign to degrade and defeat Daesh continues to progress. Coalition allies and partners must remain flexible and adapt to the changing threats. As such, the CAF has continued to shift its contribution to ISF elements involved in ridding other Iraqi centers of Daesh’s control.

As outlined in Canada’s new defence policy, the government is dedicated to working with Coalition allies and partners to deter and defeat Daesh. Canada’s contributions to the Global Coalition against Daesh demonstrate Canada’s continued commitment to addressing the threat stemming from terrorist organizations such as Daesh, and respond to the needs of conflict-affected people in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.


"Canada continues to be a responsible member of the international community and valued ally by remaining engaged in the world. The Canadian Armed Forces will adjust its contributions to ensure we remain a meaningful partner the coalition fight against Daesh.”

— Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

“I am proud of the significant contribution of the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces who have helped Iraqi Security Forces degrade Daesh across Northern Iraq. As we move forward, there is still much work to be done, and we will remain flexible and ensure we take advantage of our valuable operational skill set so our contributions are as effective as possible.”

— General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff

Quick Facts

  • The CAF will continue to support, when required, its ISF partners in Mosul with advice and assistance to defeat the remaining threats left by Daesh.

  • The CAF continues to provide training to Kurdish forces in Northern Iraq. To date, the Canadian Armed Forces have trained approximately 2450 personnel.

  • The Canadian Army will provide about a dozen specialized personnel to support the Special Operations Task Force. These personnel will bolster force protection of both Special Operations Forces and ISF by helping to detect, identify and defeat threats. The majority of these members will deploy from the 4th Canadian Division, based in Ontario, and will fall under the command of the Special Operations Task Force.

  • NATO Training and Capacity Building – Iraq is the training program launched in January, 2017, which has seen NATO advisors in Iraq overseeing training activities and working with Iraqi authorities to reform their security institutions.

  • Canada continues to contribute existing capabilities, including:

    • Aerial refueling and surveillance capabilities;
    • A tactical airlift detachment;
    • Tactical helicopters;
    • A CAF-led Role 2 medical facility;
    • Training, equipment, advising, and assisting Iraqi security forces; and
    • Support to the Global Coalition with highly-skilled personnel, including intelligence support. 
  • The recently renewed Op IMPACT mandate provides CAF with the authority to tailor its contribution to the Global Coalition fight against Daesh and the CAF is constantly seeking opportunities to better adjust its contribution to make it the most relevant to the evolving situation. The extended Op IMPACT mandate is well-aligned with Canada’s whole-of-government Strategy in the region.

  • Through the Government of Canada’s whole-of-government strategy, announced in February 2016, Canada is investing $ 2 billion over the course of three years (2016-19) to address security, stabilization, humanitarian and development challenges stemming from the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impacts on Jordan and Lebanon. The Strategy also reinforces Canada’s diplomatic presence in the region to increase our political engagement and help resolve the crises.

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Note to Editors:
Media with additional questions or interview requests are invited to contact the Media Relations Office at:

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353

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