[…] Canada will respect any decision by the Iraqi government to expel foreign troops from the country, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Friday, even as reports suggested the United States was considering sanctions and cuts to military aid should Baghdad give American forces the boot.
Speaking to reporters by phone during a visit to the Middle East, where he met with some of the hundreds of Canadian troops participating in the five-year fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Sajjan said Canada wants to continue its military training efforts in Iraq.
However, he added: “We are there at the request of the Iraqi government. If they were to change that, we do have to respect that.”[…]
Canada’s mission in Iraq has two main elements. One involves about 200 troops who have been training local forces through NATO to fight ISIL. A similar number of special forces have been working separately with Iraqi counter-terrorist units as part of the U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition.
Both elements saw their missions suspended last week, with orders for the troops to hunker down on military bases or, in some cases, relocate to Kuwait, over fears Iran or its proxies would retaliate for the U.S.’s having killed Iran’s most important general, Qassem Soleimani. Läs artikel