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IRAQ WARS
Canada pauses military assistance to Iraqi troops
by Staff Writers
Ottawa (AFP) Oct 28, 2017


Canadian special forces have temporarily suspended military assistance to Iraqi troops due to tensions between the Middle Eastern country's military and Kurdish fighters, the defense ministry said Friday.

Cooperation will resume "once more clarity exists regarding the inter-relationships of Iraqi security forces, and the key priorities and tasks going forward," said Dan Le Bouthillier, a spokesman for Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan.

Earlier Friday, Iraqi forces paused operations against the Kurds to allow for talks after the two sides -- both armed and trained by the US -- exchanged heavy artillery fire in the latest flare-up of a crisis sparked by a Kurdish independence vote last month.

Canada, which is part of the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group, said that although its special forces were suspending their mission in training and assisting Iraqi forces in the country's north, its work in other areas continued.

That includes supporting the coalition in tactical aviation, intelligence, targeting, command and control, and at a medical facility.

Canada tripled its special forces contingent in Iraq in February 2016 to 210 troops.

IRAQ WARS
Iraq forces advance in 'last den' of IS jihadists
Habbaniyah, Iraq (AFP) Oct 26, 2017
Iraqi forces on Thursday recaptured from the Islamic State group several military bases and villages as they launched a push to wipe out remnants of the jihadists' self-styled caliphate in the country. The start of the keenly awaited offensive that the US-led coalition fighting IS has dubbed "the last big fight" of the campaign came even as Iraqi troops launched a new operation against the K ... read more

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