SUPPORT US

In The Media

Kurdish fighters call Trudeau plan to withdraw CF-18 fighter jets 'bad news'

by Steven Chase (feat. George Petrolekas)

The Globe and Mail
October 21, 2015

Canada’s Kurdish allies in Iraq are calling Liberal prime-minister-designate Justin Trudeau’s plan to withdraw from a combat role against the Islamic State “bad news.”

Jabar Yawar, chief of staff for the Kurdish Regional Government’s Peshmerga Ministry, aired his concerns in an interview with Rudaw, a news website based in Erbil, Iraq.

“It is a bad news for us. Canada was a major partner in the coalition and it was a great help to Kurdistan,” Mr. Yawar said in an interview posted Wednesday about Mr. Trudeau’s plan to end this country’s combat operations in Iraq and Syria.

The comments from the Kurdish peshmerga are a shift from the praise the fighters generally shower on Canada.

The Liberal campaign pledge means bringing home the Canadian CF-18 fighter jets that form part of the U.S.-led coalition bombing IS targets in Syria and Iraq.

Canadian warplanes have launched nearly 180 air strikes on Islamic State targets since November, 2014, and the vast majority of these have been in and around the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, where the Kurds and other Iraqi ground forces are battling Islamic State militants.

The air-combat deployment in Iraq and Syria is the first major foreign-policy test for Mr. Trudeau, who won a majority in Monday’s federal election and ran on a pledge to “end Canada’s combat mission in Iraq.”

The White House has said publicly this week it would prefer Canada continue to play the “important role that they’ve played thus far,” but Mr. Trudeau in a postelection press conference said he intends to stick with his promise to end the air strikes and would proceed in an “orderly fashion.”

Mr. Trudeau met with defeated Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa’s Langevin Block Wednesday to discuss transition, the Prime Minister’s Office said. A Liberal spokesman called the discussion “very positive and generous.” Mr. Trudeau’s cabinet will be sworn in Nov. 4.

The Liberals pledged during the election campaign to continue training “local forces” in Iraq and to provide more humanitarian support to victims of Islamic State militants.

Right now, there are nearly 70 Canadian special-forces soldiers in northern Iraq acting as military advisers to Kurdish peshmerga battling IS.

It’s not clear whether the Liberals will replace these elite soldiers with conventional troops.

During the last year, Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Harper clashed over how to fight terrorism and the Liberals voted against the Conservative-dominated House of Commons motion to deploy jets to Iraq and, later, to Syria.

The very same type of warplanes – CF-18s – will fly past the National War Memorial on Thursday, when Mr. Harper, as one of his final acts in office, joins a commemoration of the attack in downtown Ottawa and on Parliament Hill one year ago that left a Canadian soldier dead.

The government arranged for this fly-past and it’s a reminder of the rationale Mr. Harper used to justify Canada’s part in the air war in the Middle East: That this country needed to do its part to fight the Islamic State because the extremists have called for more attacks on targets in Canada.

It’s not clear how soon a new Liberal government will withdraw the fighter jets. George Petrolekas, a fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, suggests the pullout may not come until March 31, 2016 – the end date set by Parliament earlier this year when the mission was extended.

“The withdrawal would likely be after the current term expires – it’s the commitment we made to allies, and is also what Parliament had authorized,” Mr. Petrolekas said.

A spokesman for Mr. Trudeau declined to comment on the comments from the Kurdish peshmerga.

The Department of National Defence said it awaits instructions on what will happen to Operation Impact, the military’s name for its mission in Iraq and Syria. “The Canadian Armed Forces stand ready to implement government direction when it comes,” spokesman Dan LeBouthillier said


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
 
UPCOMING EVENTS

CONFERENCE
Annual Defence Procurement Conference

Ottawa, Ontario

October 25, 2022

SEARCH
EXPERTS IN THE MEDIA

G7 Update

by Heather Hiscox (feat. Andrew Rasiulis), CBC, June 30, 2022

Inside Policy: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

by Editorial Staff (feat. Rob Huebert), MLI, June 30, 2022

Canada to upgrade Latvia battlegroup to a brigade, boost number of troops

by Editorial Staff (feat. David Perry), Kelowna Now, June 29, 2022

What slowdown? Canada's economy to top G7 on high oil, crop prices

by Julie Gordon and Rod Gordon (feat. Kevin Birn), Saltwire, June 29, 2022

Alliance renforcée

by Céline Galipeau (feat. Stefanie von Hlatky), Le Tele Journal, June 29, 2022

1.6 million public chargers needed in Canada for EV transition

by Larysa Harapyn (feat. Brian Kingston), The Financial Post, June 29, 2022

Passport? What passport?

by Martin C. Barr (feat. Andrew Griffith), Laval News, June 29, 2022

Oil production test looms for OPEC heavyweights Saudi Arabia, UAE

by Editorial Staff (feat. Ellen Wald), S&P Global, June 29, 2022

Eric Nuttall & Amrita Sen - Oil & Energy Update

by Eric Nuttall (feat. Amrita Sen), Nine Point Partners, June 29, 2022

All talk, no traction

by Maura Forest and Andy Blatchford (feat. Robert Huebert), Politico, June 29, 2022

U.S. pushes for Russian oil price ceiling. Feasible?

by Matt Levin (feat. Ellen Wald), MARKETPLACE, June 28, 2022

Russia Ukraine Update

by Susan Bonner (feat. Andrew Rasiulis), CBC Radio One, June 28, 2022

Un sommet de l’OTAN pour tenir tête à la Russie

by Marie Vastel (feat. David Perry), Le Devoir, June 26, 2022

A geopolitical alternative system of co-operation for nations

by Staff Reporter (feat. Swaran Singh), The Zimbabwe Mail, June 26, 2022

Analyst says high oil prices spurs little drilling

by Lee Harding (feat. Kevin Birn), Western Standard, June 26, 2022

It’s time for Canada to get serious about defence

by John Ibbitson (feat. James Fergusson and Rob Huebert), The Globe and Mail, June 25, 2022

Trudeau meets with Rwandan president, expands diplomatic mission in Kigali

by CBC Newsroom Staff (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC Newroom, June 24, 2022

With New Threats Looming, Canada Commits Billions to Air Defense

by News Desk (feat. Andrea Charron), New Express News, June 24, 2022

Drop in oil prices is not a quick fix for global inflation

by Editorial Staff (feat. Amrita Sen), The National, June 24, 2022

Highs and Lows of the Spring Sitting

by Peter Van Dusen (feat. Andrew Griffith), Prime Time Politics, June 24, 2022

Oil Incurs Second Weekly Loss As Analysts Differ On Inflation, Demand

by Ship and Bunker News Team (feat. Amrita Sen), Ship And Bunker, June 24, 2022


LATEST TWEETS

HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 150–9th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3H9

 

OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6

 

Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: [email protected]
Web: cgai.ca

 

Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.

 

© 2002-2022 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001

 


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email