May 2, 2015 / 12:22 PM / 2 years ago

Canada PM arrives in Iraq on surprise visit

1 Min Read

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (center L) and Iraq's Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani walk during a welcoming ceremony after arriving at the airport in Erbil, Iraq May 2, 2015.Azad Lashkari

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in Iraq on Saturday for a surprise visit expected to include a meeting with Canadian soldiers advising Iraqi troops fighting Islamic State militants.

Canada has around 70 special forces in Kurdish areas of northern Iraq. Canadian jets are also taking part in a U.S.-led mission to bomb Islamic State positions in Iraq and Syria.

Harper, who faces a federal election in October, announced in March that Canada would extend its six-month mission by a year to April 2016.

Opposition politicians criticized the extension, accusing the Conservative government of "mission creep", saying Canada was being dragged into a war not of its own making.

Reporting by Chris Wattie

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below