Canada Moves Soldiers From Iraq To Kuwait
The Chief of the Defense Staff, General Jonathan Vance, has indicated that the Canadian military will temporarily relocate soldiers from Iraq to Kuwait for security reasons.
This decision, announced by General Vance in an open letter shared Tuesday on social networks, follows the example of Germany and several other allies who have withdrawn some of their troops.
“Over the next few days, troops will leave Iraq temporarily to settle in Kuwait, thanks to planning efforts by the Coalition and NATO,” wrote General Vance. Simply put, we are taking these steps to ensure the safety and security of our workforce. ”
Canada has approximately 500 soldiers in Iraq to help fight Daesh (the Islamic State armed group). Some are taking part in Operation IMPACT, while others are participating in the NATO mission in Iraq.
General Vance did not specify how many Canadian troops would be moved out of the country.
“Of course, the work we do on these missions and the future of operations in Iraq depend on maintaining a sufficiently secure and productive operating environment,” he said.
Western troops in Iraq have been on the alert since the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by an American drone this weekend.
The death of General Soleimani, who was seen as the second most powerful person in Iran, raised fears of reprisals. The Iraqi parliament and the resigning prime minister demanded the departure of foreign troops from the country.
The Canadian mission was also caught in the confusion surrounding the intentions of the United States in Iraq.
A letter mistakenly sent by the US military on Monday suggested that the anti-Daesh coalition, of which Canada is a part, was about to pack up and leave the country.
But the US Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, and the Chief of the General Staff, Mark Milley, insisted that no decision had been made.
Canada is not the first country to relocate troops from Iraq this week. Germany, Croatia and Romania have also reportedly started to move some or all of their troops out of the country.