U.s. Raid: Ottawa concerned about the safety and security of Canadians in Iraq

Raid américain: Ottawa préoccupé par la sécurité des Canadiens en Irak

January 3, 2020 15h48

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U.s. Raid: Ottawa concerned about the safety and security of Canadians in Iraq

The canadian Press

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OTTAWA — The canadian minister of foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, argued on Friday that the safety and security of Canadians in the Middle East was “of paramount importance” to his government, after the american air strike that targeted a high-ranking iranian.

The general Qasem Soleimani was the commander of the elite unit of the iranian “al-Quds”; it has been eliminated in the night of Friday in Baghdad, Iraq, during a us operation. President Donald Trump has accused the general Soleimani of “plotting to kill” of many Americans. In Iran, ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, an adviser to the supreme leader of the country, has warned that Tehran “will take its revenge.”

China, Russia and France, all permanent members of the security Council of the united Nations, have reacted badly to the american air strike on Friday, but Britain and Germany were said to understand the position of the White House.

Canada has 850 soldiers deployed throughout Iraq to combat Daech, and to train iraqi forces.

“Canada is in contact with our international partners, writing the minister Champagne in a press release. The safety and well-being of Canadians in Iraq and the region, including our troops and our diplomats, are of paramount importance.” The minister called on “all parties to exercise restraint and to continue the de-escalation”, with the goal of “an Iraq kingdom and stable”.

A spokesman for Mr. Champagne has not responded to an email from The canadian Press who wanted to know if the government had been consulted about the air strike – or when Ottawa would have been informed.

According to a series of releases from the White House, the us secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has spent part of the morning of Friday on the phone to discuss with his counterparts in allied countries and other global powers like China. By mid-day, neither Ottawa nor Washington suggested high-level communication between the two capitals.

“Spiritual son” of Khamenei

A former foreign policy adviser to the canadian government says that the canadian government has reason to worry.

Of retaliation from the supporters of the general eliminated are predictable after the mourning period of three days as ordered by the supreme leader of Iran, who viewed the general Soleimani as a son, felt Shuvaloy Majumdar, of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

“We can expect (…) to a wide range of asymmetric attacks against the interests of mainly american, but most likely also western,” said Mr. Majumdar, the institute of public policy in Ottawa.

“I think, therefore, that as we enter this new chapter, this will be a very important issue for the way in which Canadians and the canadian government will take care of the safety of our soldiers, but also the promotion of our interests.”

Mr. Majumdar has recommended for years the former conservative government of Stephen Harper, including the decision to classify as “terrorist entity” the Brigade ” al-Quds of the Guardians of the islamic revolution, led by general Soleimani.

He described the death of the general “strike the more substantial has taken place against a terrorist leader since the beginning of what is called the war against terrorism”.

“He oversaw a team of terrorism, State-supported, extremely well-oiled machine, which, since the late 1990s, since he has led the Brigade of al-Quds, has become the terrorist organization, the more sophisticated the world has ever known.”

A “terrorist organization”

The Brigade ” al-Quds is an elite unit of the iranian revolutionary Guards, which report to the supreme leader of the country ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Brigade al-Quds in form and team of the militias, foreign, commit bomb attacks, and assassinations, and otherwise uses unconventional methods to extend the influence of military and diplomatic efforts of Iran in the world. “Quds” means Jerusalem in Arabic and Persian.

The United States has designated the Brigade al-Quds as a terrorist organization in 2007, and Canada followed suit in 2012. The minister Champagne also recalling Friday that “Canada has long been concerned by the Brigade al-Quds of the Guardians of the islamic revolution, led by Qasem Soleimani, whose aggressive actions have had a destabilizing effect in the region and beyond”.

The leader of the New democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh, seemed to condemn the us decision on Friday. “The actions of the Usa in Iran, bringing us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East, he wrote on Twitter. The prime minister (Justin Trudeau) must move quickly with other nations to defuse the situation and must not let himself be lead in the direction taken by the president Trump.”

In each of its calls in the capitals, Friday, the secretary of State Pompeo has argued that the United States was determined to defuse tensions in the Middle East, which have soared since a militia backed by Tehran has killed an american entrepreneur and the United States responded with air strikes. These reprisals have then triggered violent protests by pro-iranian in front of the U.s. embassy in Baghdad.

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