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Rudaw

World

Canada to send promised weapons to Peshmerga despite referendum

By Rudaw 28/9/2017
File photo shows a Peshmerga fighter during a military training conducted by the US-led Global Coalition against ISIS in the Kurdistan Region in 2016. Photo: Rudaw/Farzin Hassan
File photo shows a Peshmerga fighter during a military training conducted by the US-led Global Coalition against ISIS in the Kurdistan Region in 2016. Photo: Rudaw/Farzin Hassan
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The Canadian ministry of defense is to continue with its plan to arm the Kurdish Peshmerga forces despite Monday’s referendum that saw the majority of Kurds voting for independence from Iraq.

An article published in Ottawa Citizen says that “The Iraqi government has not signaled its desire for Canada to change the military assistance it’s providing,” Canadian Forces spokeswoman Capt. Patricia Brunelle has told the newspaper in an email.

“The Government of Canada is taking all reasonable steps to ensure that the Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq provide the requisite commitments that any equipment provided from the government of Canada will be used in an appropriate manner,” Capt. Brunelle says in her email.

“Canada will ensure that end-user agreements are fully approved and in place before any equipment is delivered.”

The newspaper writes that it is not clear “when Canada will actually deliver the weapons, but among the armament provided will be .50-calibre sniper rifles equipped with silencers, 60mm mortars and Carl Gustav anti-tank systems.”

“Other gear pledged to the Kurds includes grenade launchers, pistols, carbines, thermal binoculars, cameras, scopes and medical supplies.”

Canada was among the first countries to join the global anti-ISIS coalition in 2014 and Canadian transport planes delivered weapons and ammunition provided by other countries to Erbil alongside 69 Special Forces soldiers to train the Peshmerga.

The Canadian government has so far remained silent about the Kurdish referendum, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying that it was not an issue for outsiders to interfere with.

“As a Quebecer, I’m very sensitive to other countries weighing in on internal decisions around the future of a country or separation questions,” Trudeau told reporters.

“I was involved in two referendum campaigns in Canada where we very much appreciated foreign interlocutors not weighing in on what Quebecers should be choosing and what Canadians should be choosing.”

Comments

 
Dryasiulia | 28/9/2017
Daesh is still a problem and the referendum did not change that. Peshmerga still need the resources to fight them. To abandon Peshmerga is not an intelligent option, it's a ridiculous idea.
JPL | 29/9/2017
I am a Kurdish Canadian, I like our prime minister and I love my country Canada but these weapons should have been in the hands of the Peshmerga long time ago. Usual Canadian bureaucracy it takes for ever to get things done in Canada. Maybe there is a reason for that but I haven't figured it out yet. We have the longest red tape in the world. Just send the weapons before Baghdad closes all the Kurdish airspace on the orders of the Iranian ayatollahs and the ISIS godfather Erdogan of Turkey.
Peter | 1/10/2017
JPL the reason is that the Liberals will never do things above the board,, they say one thing and do another,,they they twist the words and underhandedly support what they know needs to be done example they campaigned and built a coalition against the pipelines east and west than approved some going west as you know this must be done but there outright lies cause they werent in power shows their way of talking with a forked tongue the conservatives get attacked for being up front with doing the right thing you know where you stand,,Liberals will say yes to you and yes to the guy beside you advocating what you are against,,they are the yesman of Canada,,till power is gained and they do whatever the hell will further their Socialist agenda for a Globalized Socialist World run from the UN
Mohamedzzz | 1/10/2017
Thank you Canada.
Shaq | 28/10/2017
Canada should not be involved in any internal affairs of any country. Canada was and still is providing assistance including military to overcome ISIS. As far as Iraq goes and the fate of Iraqi Kurds ; firstly they need to bring their house to order, and secondly negotiate peacefully with the government of Iraq all outstanding matters.I fully support Canada's decision in refraining from providing weapons as there is no guaranties that it will not be used in this unwanted internal conflict.
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