Posted on July 23, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Military, Politics
Canadian soldiers wearing Kurdish flag in Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo: Facebook
OTTAWA,— Canadian troops in Iraqi Kurdistan will continue to wear the Kurdish flag on their uniforms following a review by Canada’s top soldier.
Canadian soldiers guiding and mentoring Kurdish forces in Iraqi Kurdistan [northern Iraq] have been wearing the Kurdish flag on their uniforms in a sign of respect.
The Department of National Defence says Gen. Jonathan Vance recently re-approved the flag patches afterconcerns were raised in the spring about the message they were sending to the rest of the country.
Experts at the time warned that sporting the Kurdish rather than the Iraqi flag could be interpreted by average Iraqis as indicative of Canada’s support for an independent Iraqi Kurdistan.
Following a review, however, Vance said Canadian soldiers in the country would continue to wear the Kurdish flag in part to show solidarity with the Kurds as they face an existential threat from the Islamic State IS.
While National Defence added that the continued wearing of the Kurdish flag should not be interpreted as a sign of Canada’s support for disunity in Iraq, experts say that may be wishful thinking.
One equated the issue to foreign soldiers in Canada wearing the Quebec flag instead of the Maple Leaf.
Last May U.S. troops were ordered to stop wearing the Kurdish flag.
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