NATO suspends training mission in Iraq
The Canadian-commanding NATO mission in Iraq has suspended its training task after a U.S. airstrike killed an Iranian commander, Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reported Saturday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
A senior Canadian government official was quoted as describing the move as a "tactical pause."
The NATO mission run by Canadian General Jennie Carignan is reportedly a "non-combat, advisory and training" mission.
The suspension of NATO's training mission, where 253 Canadians are involved, does not affect the U.S.-led Operation Impact where Canada has approximately 600 soldiers servicing in Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan and Lebanon as trainers and advisers, according to the report.
Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne on Friday called on all sides to exercise restraint and pursue de-escalation after a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad International Airport killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, who was commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Quds Force.
"Canada is in contact with our international partners. The safety and well-being of Canadians in Iraq and the region, including our troops and diplomats, is our paramount concern. We call on all sides to exercise restraint and pursue de-escalation. Our goal is and remains a united and stable Iraq," Champagne said in a statement.
Canada also urged its citizens in Iraq to consider leaving the country in updated travel advisory on Friday after the attack.