None Too Soon . . . .
"We are currently working through the administrative, legal and various supply arrangements to enable the delivery of equipment [to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq]."
"Exact delivery dates will depend on the Government of Iraq, as well as the availability of the identified equipment for delivery."
Daniel Le Bouthillier, Department of National Defence (CDA) spokesman
"It should include weapons, military equipment and devices for the size of a battalion -- everything, not including vehicles."
"The paperwork is done. Baghdad has signed off."
Brig.-Gen. Hajar Ismail, Kurdish Ministry of Peshmerga
The Kurdish Peshmerga militias are internationally recognized as the most effective fighting force challenging the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq. Where the Iraqi military turned tail and fled in disarray from Mosul, frantic to ensure they wouldn't have to face the steadily advancing jihadists with their fearsome reputation as merciless killers, leaving their garrison and all their military equipment behind for the oncoming ISIL terrorists to pick over for future use in their ongoing capture of Iraqi territory, the Kurds stood their ground, protecting Kurdistan and providing haven for the tens of thousands of Kurdish, Yazidi, Christian and Shiite refugees the ISIL onslaught produced.
Promises were made by the international community in recognition of the fearless reputation of the Peshmerga that help would be on its way. Kurdistan is semi-autonomous with its own government and institutions but is considered by Iraq and by the international community to be part of sovereign Iraq. And the fear was, among diplomatic considerations, that by supplying the Peshmerga with weapons, those same weapons that would be used against ISIL, would eventually be used should a civil war ensue with Kurds pursuing their goal of sovereignty.
The Kurds have no reason whatever to remain part of Iraq; their suffering at the hands of the previous Iraqi governments whose barbaric attacks against Kurdish towns and villages, destroying them and slaughtering their people, was genocidal in intent. And if any ethnic group is deserving of a land of their own on their ancient traditional geography, it is most certainly the Kurds. Area should be carved out of Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey to facilitate and accommodate a Kurdish homeland, long overdue after the Kurds were betrayed by the British colonial powers, post World War I, and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.
Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters march near Mosul in October 2016.
Finally, it appears that from Canada arms would be delivered, long promised. Carl Gustav anti-tank systems, .50-calibre sniper rifles equipped with silencers, 60 mm mortars and other types of defensive and offensive weaponry is now slated for delivery. Grenade launchers, pistols, carbines, thermal binoculars, cameras, scopes and medical supplies will soon be in the hands of those who require them as the only reliably effective fighting force in Iraq. Up to the present, the Kurds have been trained by Canadian special forces, as well as by military training specialists from other NATO member-countries.
Kurdish units have been provided with mortars, anti-tank weapons and armoured personnel carriers by the U.S. military, and the United Kingdom provided heavy machine guns and ammunition. German shipments of rifles, a million rounds of ammunition, armoured vehicles and MILAN guided missiles have also resumed; after having been temporarily halted for an investigation when some of those German-sourced weapons were seen to have turned up on the black market.