Canada extends mission in Iraq to March 2019 as Baghdad declares 'fall' of Daesh

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 29.06.2017 17:28

Canada extended its military mission against the Daesh group in Iraq Thursday for another two years.

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said that Canada is renewing its contribution to the Global Coalition until March 31, 2019.

Canada has about 200 special forces soldiers operating in northern Iraq supported by a combat hospital, a helicopter detachment, a surveillance plane and an air-to-air refueling aircraft.

The government calls it an advise-and-assist mission to help train local forces, but opposition parties say Canada is involved in combat.

They pointed to word that a Canadian special forces sniper, supporting Iraqi forces, killed a Daesh terrorists from 3,540 meters away, in what the Canadian military said is a world record.

Canada previously removed its fighter jets from the mission.

Meanwhile, Iraqi military on Thursday announced the recapture of the iconic Mosul mosque where Daesh chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his only public appearance.

Iraqiya state TV carried a banner on Thursday announcing the "fall of the mythical state."

Officials from Iraq and the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition said the destruction of the site was a sign of the terrorist group's imminent loss of Mosul, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi calling it an "official declaration of defeat."

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