Image released by Canada’s Department of National Defence, shows Canadian advisors working with Iraqi military personnel.

A few days ago the Military Times noted that “American troops in Iraq appear to be more cautious than Canadians”.  The article noted that while US advisors to the Iraqi military are working at the headquarters level, Canadian Special Forces advisors are working on the front lines, and have exchanged fire with ISIS militants.

Since then, a Canadian Armed Forces spokesman has confirmed that there have been two more firefights between Canadian military personnel and ISIS militants.  The spokesman said that the Canadians, among some 69 Special Forces personnel in Iraq, were “acting in self-defence [and] effectively returned fire, neutralizing the threat”.

On 20 January, General Mike Rouleau, commander of Canada’s Special Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) confirmed that while his personnel, including snipers, had “neutralized” ISIS machine gun and mortar positions, their work was “very much in the advise and assist role”.

At present there are 69 confirmed CANSOFCOM personnel in Iraq, besides a larger number of Royal Canadian Air Force personnel who are also involved in the mission, known as OPERATION IMPACT.