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

Tour company plans shuttle service to Kelowna for stranded travellers

SMT Kootenay wants to help travellers get in and out of ‘Cancelgar’ in winter months

Castlegar pastors find life in wheelchair a challenge

The men found the obstacles were both physical and mental.

Castlegar library offering free radon detectors

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer and Castlegar has one of the highest levels in B.C.

Castlegar’s Waterline property purchased; owners to protect it for rock climbers

New owners plan to subdivide, sell bluffs to recreational climbing group

Feds, B.C. to expand Darkwoods Conservation area

New funding allows the national land trust to add some 7,900 hectares to the Darkwoods Conservation Area

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

B.C. couple helping wildfire evacuees in northern California

A planned holiday has turned into a humanitarian effort for a Penticton couple

$177,000 raised for BC Cancer Foundation in B.C. Interior

Luncheon supports patient and family emergency services for Southern Interior B.C. residents

Dead whale discovered on B.C. shore

The whale was discovered Friday morning near the BC Ferries terminal

‘This is gangster,’ bait car thief declares on video

Footage from Abbotsford gains attention on social media

B.C. to offer gender-affirming surgeries for transgender people

Roughly 100 people in B.C. travel each year out of province for lower surgeries

U.S. mayor and dying dog’s roadtrip to B.C. goes viral

First vacation in three years came a month after blood cancer diagnosis

Federal fall update expected to offer more support for struggling news industry

Ottawa committed $50 million over five years for local journalism in ‘underserved communities’ last budget

UK’s May appeals to public on Brexit, braces for more blows

British Prime Minister Theresa May answered questions from callers on a radio phone-in, the day after she vowed to stay in office

Most Read