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

Being Young; Tackling the ‘second-week slump’

Defeating the slump is difficult.

Along the Fraser: A flawed made-in-B.C.-plan for wild salmon

‘The greatest value B.C. places on wild salmon is cultural.’

Marauders to play in championship Saturday

Pitt Meadows hosting senior boys basketball tournament

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows part of speculation and vacancy tax

Watch the mail, fill out the form, or you’ll be taxed

Another Burrard wins a field lacrosse scholarship

Cooke playing for Newbury Wolves in South Carolina

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Lower Mainland-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Most Read