October 27, 2017 4:33 pm

Canada halts military aid to Iraqi and Kurdish forces amid clashes

WATCH: Kurdish-Iraqi tensions leave Canadian mission in a bind

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OTTAWA – The Canadian military is temporarily suspending its support to Iraqi and Kurdish forces amid an outbreak of hostilities between the two groups.

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Canadian special forces have provided training, advice and assistance to both the Iraqi military and Kurdish peshmerga for the last three years as part of the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

But the one-time allies have been fighting each other for more than a week, after the Kurds held a controversial independence referendum and Baghdad responded by seizing control of contested territory.

READ MORE: Iraqi troops clash with Kurds in effort to gain control of oil-rich Kirkuk

Military officials say the Canadian Forces will continue to support the U.S.-led coalition fighting against ISIL through the provision of medical aid, intelligence and transportation.

But Canadian special forces will not be providing any training or assistance to Iraqi or Kurdish forces until the two sides resolve their differences.

The Trudeau government has steadfastly refused to take sides in the dispute between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurds, and instead called on both sides to talk.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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