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

UPDATE: Castlegar brush fire human caused

RCMP are investigating the fire.

PHOTOS: Castlegar grads on parade

Stanley Humphries Secondary School celebrated grad last weekend.

Commercial truck caught dumping waste into river near Trail

Greater Trail RCMP report the company owner has been identified

Teck will continue to fight U.S. judgement

U.S. Supreme Court denied hearing Teck’s appeal last week

Castlegar residents encouraged to water smarter

Water Smart Ambassador will come to your home for a free assessment.

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

Most Read