Front Lines

Friendly fire incident investigated
Front Lines

Friendly fire incident investigated

Beginning in Iraq, the lingering mystery about the exact events that led to the death of Canadian Special Operations Regiment Sergeant Andrew Doiron at the hands of allied Kurdish peshmerga forces has been mostly resolved with the release of a highly redacted report into the event. More than two months after Doiron’s death, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) has released a censored three-page report which concluded: “This CFNIS investigation into the Operational Sudden Death of Sgt DOIRON revealed he was killed as a result of Peshmerga Forces mistaking him and other members of SOTF [REDACTED] for ISIS fighters.” “SOTF” stands for Special Operations Task Force, and refers to the name given to the Canadian element deployed to northern Iraq, which is redacted becau...
The Russian Bear Looks North
Defence Today, Front Lines

The Russian Bear Looks North

It takes only a cursory glance at recent headlines to see that the Russian bear has not only awoken, but is angry, quite possibly rabid. Not content to merely create chaos in rewriting the map of Eastern Europe, or to panic its neighbours farther afield with constant bomber flights across their flanks, the Russians have also recently turned their sights to the far north. In mid-March, no less than 80,000 Russian troops (yes, that eighty thousand number is correct, at least according to TASS, one of Russia’s official news agencies) were involved in an airborne exercise in the Arctic. Billed as a “snap check of combat readiness,” Russia’s Northern Fleet, Airborne Forces and multiple other formations made a massive display of getting ready to fight in the north, going so far as to land air...
Redefining ‘combat’
Defence Today, Front Lines

Redefining ‘combat’

In news from Canada’s shooting war, it turns out that the mission to advise and assist Kurdish forces in northern Iraq had a much more rigorous amount of assisting involved than was initially made clear. In a press conference in Ottawa on Jan. 19, Lieutenant-General Jonathan Vance, head of the Joint Operations Command, and Brigadier-General Michael Rouleau, head of Special Operations Forces Command, told reporters that not only had Canadian special operations snipers directly engaged ISIL militants, but that the Canadian soldiers had been calling in airstrikes since November—no fewer than 13 times. While close observers have noted that the war against ISIL has been following the model of the successful 2001 campaign against the Taliban, which was to use coalition airpower guided by speci...
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