BRUSSELS— The Canadian military will command a new NATO training and capacity building mission in Iraq for its first year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in Brussels on Wednesday as part of the annual alliance summit.
Trudeau said the mission, to begin in the fall of 2018 in Baghdad and the surrounding vicinity, will include the deployment of as many as 250 Canadian Armed Forces personnel and up to four Griffon helicopters to support NATO activities.
“This is a moment for us to stand together and understand that the perspective that we fight for and stand for is essential today and tomorrow.”
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office called the mission a “natural next step for Canada” that moves beyond the successful fight against Islamic State militants to “helping build institutional capacity in Iraq and lay the groundwork for longer-term peace and stability.
Canada’s leadership of this new NATO training mission will complement existing efforts in the global coalition against ISIL.