(Updated) Canadian Casualties in Operation Inherent Resolve
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter spoke by telephone with Canadian Minister of Defense Jason Kenney and extended his deepest condolences to Minister Kenney and to the family of Sergeant Andrew Joseph Doiron and also wished a speedy recovery to those who were injured.
This was Secretary Carter’s first conversation with Minister Kenney, who became minister of defense on February 9, 2015. Secretary Carter thanked him for his leadership and for Canada’s contributions to global security efforts, to include their support to ongoing operations in Iraq against ISIL and for Canada’s contributions to Ukraine.
As NATO allies, NORAD partners, and North American neighbors, Secretary Carter and Minister Kenney highlighted the deep and enduring defense partnership between the United States and Canada. The two leaders noted that they look forward to meeting in person and agreed to continue the strong institutional and personal relationship that their predecessors enjoyed.
The Stars and Stripes adds more information to an earlier Reuters report that one member of the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIL was killed and three were wounded in a friendly fire incident with Kurdish forces in northern Iraq on Friday.
Quoting the Associated Press the Stripes identifies the dead soldier as a member of the Canadian Special Forces, part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIL.
The Canadian soldier is Sgt. Andrew Joseph Doiron. His death marks Canada’s first casualty in the conflict in what is reported to be a case of mistaken identity in a friendly fire incident.
Peshmerga spokesman Halgurd Hekmat said a group of Canadian soldiers showed up unannounced Friday to the village of Bashiq, in Iraq’s Nineveh province near the militant-held city of Mosul. The area had seen heavy fighting against Islamic State militants the previous day.
“When they returned, the peshmerga asked them to identify themselves,” Hekmat told The Associated Press. “They answered in Arabic, that’s when peshmerga started shooting. It was their fault.”
Hekmat added that he doesn’t know why the Canadians were there. “I consider it an improper action by the Canadians and illogical,” he said.
The three soldiers wounded in the incident were also Canadian and are reported to be “in stable condition.”
The Stripes adds, “Canada has 69 special forces soldiers with Kurdish peshmerga fighters in what the government calls an advising and assisting role.”
Three U.S. troops have been killed so far in Operation Enduring Freedom: A U.S. Marine presumed lost at sea in October, a Marine killed in a noncombat incident in Baghdad also in October and a U.S. Air Force pilot killed in December when his jet crashed in Jordan, according to the Stripes.
Of course we remember Jordanian pilot First Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh who was savagely burned alive in a cage by ISIL terrorists.
Canada, is one of the coalition nations participating in “Operation Inherent Resolve,” the operation to “eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community” and conducts airstrikes in Iraq along with the United States, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Our condolences to the family of the Canadian soldier and to the Canadian people.
Lead image: www.shutterstock.com