Canadian Defense and Foreign Ministers announced the extension of the functions of the Canadian military training missions in Iraq and Ukraine, National Iraqi News Agency (NINA) reported.
“We have made great progress and we are aware of the need for more work,” Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan said at a joint news conference with the Foreign Minister.
Canada has about 500 military members in Iraq, including 200 who are part of a NATO training mission and 120 Special Forces who have been helping Iraqi forces root out Islamic State insurgents around the northern city of Mosul.
Both missions were due to expire at the end of the month, AFP reported, but the security concerns that have prompted their dispatch remain.
In Iraq, until March 2021, Canada will retain 250 Special Forces personnel to train and advise local Security Forces, and will maintain several attack helicopters involved in the US-led coalition against Daesh organization.
If necessary, the number of Canadian troops in Iraq could be increased to 850, which would also help Jordan and Lebanon strengthen their security capabilities, officials said.