EDITOR’S NOTE: On Jan. 10, the Canadian government updated the number of Canadians killed in the Jan. 8 Ukraine International Airlines crash in Iran from 63 to 57.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are planning to adopt a higher security posture in Ottawa as of Thursday, Global News has learned.
The force is expected to use the elite tactical officers of the Emergency Response Team to provide increased protection and security in the national capital.
Emergency Response Team (ERT) officers are trained to deal with high-risk firearms and counter-terrorism calls. At times, they also provide VIP protection, including that of the prime minister alongside his protective detail.
The change comes at the request of high-level authorities, in response to recent events in Iran and Iraq, according to a security source.
Global News was told the move does not indicate an anticipated or imminent attack, but rather is out of an abundance of caution.
It comes after indications the national security establishment was preparing to ramp up the security posture in recent days, according to multiple sources.
This information came the same day as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 that crashed just outside Tehran, in which he said an Iranian missile likely brought down the jet.
“We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence, that indicates the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile,” he said.
“This may well have been unintentional.”
All 176 passengers and crew on board died in the crash, including at least 138 people who were supposed to catch connecting flights for Canada, as well as at least 63 Canadians.
The plane crash on early Wednesday came hours after Iran launched missiles targeting two Iraqi bases housing U.S. forces. Those missiles were launched in retaliation for the U.S. airstrike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last week.
No one was injured in the missile attacks on the Iraqi bases, which also housed Canadian soldiers. The Canadian Forces flew dozens of Canadian, American, and other allied troops out of Iraq ahead of the missile strikes.
Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization has denied the allegations, calling them “illogical rumours,” according to Iranian state-run news.
“Scientifically, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane, and such rumours are illogical,” the head of the organization, Ali Abedzadeh, said, as reported by ISNA.
— With files by Global News staff