Trudeau announces new Canada-led training mission in Iraq

BRUSSELS - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada will assume command of a new NATO training mission in Iraq.

This will include the deployment of up to 250 Canadian Armed Forces personnel for one year beginning in the fall of 2018.

They will be deployed to Baghdad and the surrounding vicinity along with up to four Griffon helicopters to support NATO activities.

Trudeau made the announcement Wednesday morning at a discussion session as part of the NATO summit in Brussels.

He described the mission as a natural next step for Canada in the fight against Islamic State militants by continuing to help build institutional capacity in Iraq.

Canada's leadership of this new NATO training mission will complement existing efforts in the global coalition against ISIL.

Under Operation IMPACT, the Canadian army is already providing training and assistance to the Iraqi security forces and helping regional forces build their capacity.

Canada also contributes mobile training teams to NATO's counter-improvised explosive device capacity building efforts for Iraq.

This initiative builds on that effort.