Chancellor Barzani receives Canadian Chief of Defence Staff

The Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC), Mr. Masrour Barzani, received this afternoon General Thomas J Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff of Canada, to discuss military and security support to the Kurdistan Region on the war on terror.

Masrour Barzani touched on recent gains against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), including the offensive launched on 21 January 2015 to control the strategic Kiske Junction on Highway 47, connecting Mosul, Tal Afar and Sinjar to the Syrian Border.

In this offensive hundreds of ISIS fighters were killed, including 27 Emirs and 2 senior members.

He called on General Lawson to increase military aid to the Kurdistan Region to combat and outgun the enemy and to sustain recent gains. He emphasised the need for protective gear against IEDs and enemy fire in the battlefield. He said, “We seem to be the only effective force defeating ISIS and gaining ground.”

“The war on ISIS requires a joint and coordinated effort by those fighting terrorism,” he added.

Canada is a leading supporter of the Kurdistan Region in the fight against ISIS, providing critical air support and non-lethal aid. Today an additional C17 of non-lethal aid was delivered as part of the MoU with the Ministry of Peshmerga.

General Lawson said, “Canada understands the importance of Peshmerga forces in this fight, and we have the greatest admiration for the Peshmerga.”

“We have a very strong relationship with the Peshmerga.”

Both officials agreed to strengthen military cooperation between Canada and the Kurdistan Region.

The meeting was attended by several other senior military officials.