Canada to send military advisers in Iraq to counter Islamic State

OTTAWA – Canada will deploy military officials to Iraq to advise government forces fending off an insurgency by Islamic State militants, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday, as the US announced a coalition with a similar mission.

The Canadians will provide strategic and tactical advice and assistance to Iraqi forces before they commence tactical operations against the militants. Initial deployment will be for thirty days, and will then be re-assessed.

"The fanaticism of the militant group is a real threat to regional security and millions of innocent people in Iraq, Syria and beyond," Harper said in a statement at the NATO summit in Wales.

"Left unchecked, the group is also a direct threat to Canada and its Allies. The deployment of members of the Canadian Armed Forces is a concrete measure to deter the murderous rampage of ISIL and respond to the humanitarian crisis it has caused."

The United States said on Friday it was forming a core coalition to battle Islamic State militants in Iraq, including Canada.

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Aaj Kal