Canada signs “military protocol” with KRG
Canada has agreed to provide Kurdish Peshmerga Forces with robots to defuse bombs and landmines, Kurdistan Regional Government Peshmerga Ministry officials announced.
The Peshmerga Minister Mustafa Sayid Qadir and Jabar Yawar, Secretary General of Peshmerga Ministry, said they had met with Canadian Ambassador to Iraq Bruno Saccomani in Erbil.
The Peshmerga Ministry said it had signed a "military protocol" with the Canadian government. "According to the protocol, phase 1 will include a variety of military equipment for Peshmerga; the most important are the de-mining robots that can be used for finding and defusing mines and bombs."
Earlier this month, Canada announced an agreement to provide $10 million worth of non-lethal military equipment to Kurdish authorities. "This equipment includes explosives detection and disposal equipment," Adam Hodge, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Thursday.
"Our goal is to advise and assist Iraqi security forces as they attempt to protect their citizens from IS and prevent further escalation of the humanitarian crisis."
The Canadian military is not involved in purchasing the robots or providing training for the devices. That will be handled by a Canadian "partner" in the region, said a government source who did not provide details.
The Canadian military has already transported ammunition, weapons and other equipment to Kurdish forces that are fighting the Islamic State. The Canadian
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that 69 Canadian special-force soldiers will be sent to Iraq to help in the battle. A small number of those Canadian advisers are already on the ground but it is not known when the rest are to arrive in Kurdistan.
Harper said "U.S. President Barack Obama requested the Canadian troops."
Canada has committed $28 million in humanitarian assistance to Iraq this year. Another $5 million will be spent to limit the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria.