nsnbc : Canadian special operations forces have been tasked with the process of procuring weapons for and distributing them to the Iraqi – Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq’s Kurdistan Autonomous Region, in line with a promise made by the Canadian prime minister last year to assist the Kurdish troops.

A Canadian A CC-177 Globemaster transport plane. Photo courtesy DND

“There is no standard, pre-determined process or timeline for an equipment acquisition of this complexity,” read a statement from the Department of National Defense (DND). The statement continues: “Given the ongoing situation on the ground, the requirements are urgent and operational. For this reason, contracts have been awarded on a sole-source basis.”

Canada’s Department of National Defense is thus involved in the procurement of weapons worth $9.5 million. That reportedly includes .50-calibre sniper rifles equipped with silencers, 60mm mortars and Carl Gustav anti-tank systems, as well as grenade launchers, pistols, carbines, thermal binoculars, cameras, scopes and medical supplies.

Canada was one of the first countries to send fighter jets to help the Iraqi Kurds against ISIS in October 2014, though the current liberal government has withdrawn the jets and pledged training and arms supply instead.

The equipment that Ottawa has promised to supply the Iraqi Kurds come from Canadian companies “Although the timeline for the purchases isn’t known, DND said the aim is to deliver the items as quickly as possible.”

According to Canada’s Department of National Defense, the long delay of purchasing and delivering the weapons has been due to “bureaucratic roadblocks, not resistance from the Iraqi or Turkish governments.”

F/AK – nsnbc 20.07.2017



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