Defence & Security News - Canada
|Friday, September 19, 2014 12:05 PM|
|Canada to provide military robots to Kurdish forces|
According to The Star Phoenix, Canada has agreed to provide Kurdish forces in northern Iraq with robots to defuse bombs and landmines, officials with the Kurdish military have announced. Peshmerga Minister Mustafa Sayid Qadir and Jabar Yawar, secretary general of Peshmerga Ministry, told journalists they had met with Canadian Ambassador to Iraq Bruno Saccomani in Irbil, capital of the Kurdistan region.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced earlier this month sending $10 million of non-lethal military equipment to Kurdish authorities
The Peshmerga Ministry said in a statement it had signed a "military protocol" with the Canadian government. "According to the protocol, Phase 1 will include a variety of military equipment for Peshmerga, the most important being the de-mining robots that can be used for finding and defusing mines and bombs." The machines will be used to defuse explosive devices planted by members of Islamic State (also known as ISIL).
Earlier this month, Canada announced an agreement to provide $10 million worth of non-lethal military equipment to Kurdish authorities. "This equipment includes explosives detection and disposal equipment," Adam Hodge, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Thursday, September 18.
"Our goal is to advise and assist Iraqi security forces as they attempt to protect their citizens from ISIL and prevent the further escalation of the humanitarian crisis."
The Canadian military is not involved in purchasing the robots or providing training for the devices. That will be handled by a Canadian "partner" in the region, said a government source who did not provide details. The Peshmerga statement is based on the funding announcement made by Baird during his trip to Iraq in early September.
The Canadian military has already transported ammunition, weapons and other equipment to Kurdish forces that are fighting Islamic State, which has seized large parts of Iraq and forced Iraqi military units to retreat on a number of fronts.