Canadian military drawing up plans for extending Iraq military mission

Even with an extension, peace and stability appear a long way off for many Iraqis

The Canadian military is drawing up options for extending its mission in Iraq even as growing political instability threatens to plunge the country into another cycle of bloody violence.

The current mission, which includes hundreds of special forces soldiers, transport and refuelling aircraft, a military hospital and counter-explosive experts, recently entered its fifth year and is scheduled to expire at the end of March.

Yet Brig.-Gen. Colin Keiver, the commander of Joint Task Force-Iraq, expects the Iraqi government will continue to rely on Canada and other international partners for the foreseeable future, which is why proposals are being readied for cabinet approval this fall.

Even with an extension, peace and stability appear a long way off for many Iraqis, thanks to political infighting and deep ethnic and religious divisions across the country.

The country remains without a government four months after parliamentary elections, and there are concerns that tensions between different political groups — some backed by the U.S. and others by Iran — will erupt into civil war

Meanwhile, violent protests have erupted in Basra and other cities in recent weeks over the slow pace of reconstruction and rampant government corruption, while the Islamic State remains a threat despite its supposed defeat last year.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Book exchange box destroyed by fire in Parksville Community Park

Second time in less than a year box has been vandalized

Community votes requested for Parksville’s 2019 sand sculpting theme

Three choices for annual 2019 Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition

Next Parksville OrganWORX concert is back from outer space on Feb. 3

Bob McDonald hopes to provide grander view of the world in science talk/musical performance

Qualicum’s interim superintendent to continue on through April 30

SD69 awaits Rollie Koop’s return from medical leave

Support pours in for Bowser couple whose home was destroyed by massive blaze

GoFundMe page reached $10,000 in one day for soon-to-be parents

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

Cherry Creek firefighters mourn former deputy chief

Brian Brick is the second Alberni Valley firefighter to die of work-related cancer in January

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read