WATCH ABOVE: Canada’s top soldier, who is currently travelling with the Prime Minister, says fatigue on the Kurdish front lines was a major factor in the death of Canadian Sgt. Andrew Doiron. Vassy Kapelos reports.
KUWAIT CITY — Chief of Defence Staff General Tom Lawson dropped a broad hint that the investigations into Sgt. Andrew Doiron’s friendly-fire death will show that Canadian soldiers were blameless.
Lawson said the findings will be released within a month
Lawson made the comments to reporters after Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed Canadian Air Force members stationed in Kuwait.
Sgt. Doiron was killed in March when Kurdish fighters near the front lines mistakenly turned on him and three other special forces troops.
WATCH ABOVE: Chief of Defence Staff General Tom Lawson comments on the investigation into Sgt. Andrew Doiron’s friendly-fire death
Mystery has surrounded the investigations, with the military refusing — until now — to commit to making them public.
Lawson, revealing some of what the investigation determined, said Canadian troops involved in the exchange acted “perfectly”, while Peshmergan fighters’ fatigue appears to have played a role.
“What we have to mitigate is things like fatigue,” Lawson said, suggesting that special forces would avoid areas where there had been recent battles. “You’ll see many of the mitigation steps we recommend will have to do with that area.”
When asked if the weariness of the under-trained fighters was a factor, the defence chief said: “I think we’ll see the fatigue of the soldiers who were at the front, the peshmerga at the front, would have played a part.”
The Kurdish forces had fought a series of pitched battles with extremists in the days leading up to the tragedy.
Lawson joined the prime minister and Defence Minister Jason Kenney in surprise stops in Iraq and Kuwait en route to a scheduled trip to the Netherlands.
— With files from Canadian Press