Dozens gather outside U.S. embassy in Ottawa for peace protest
Protesters demand end to 'American interventionism' following death of Qassem Soleimani
Around 50 protesters gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa Saturday to demand an end to "American interventionism" following the death of Qassem Soleimani.
Tensions have been high in the Middle East since the Iranian general was killed early Friday in an American raid in Baghdad.
- Thousands march in Baghdad to mourn Soleimani, others killed in U.S. airstrike
- Anxiety, anticipation in Canada's largest Iranian diaspora as news of Soleimani's killing stuns
Protesters in Ottawa demanded that the United States end its intervention in the Middle East.
"I'm disturbed by the actions of the American government and I think it's important that people show up and express concern about their war-mongering, about their incursions into other countries and the violence that they spread around the world," said Laura McCoy who was visiting from Toronto and chose to take part in the protest.
"It's important that we let the world know, let the American [government] know that the people don't support them and that it's important to stand for peace and justice in the world."
Protesters fear that a new armed conflict will arise out of Soleimani's death.
"We have better things to do than waging wars," said Frédéric Langlois who was also taking part in the protest.
A similar rally took place outside the American consulate in Toronto, with many expressing concerns about what the action will mean for Iranians back home.
Anger against Canadian government
Protesters also denounced the absence of a firm conviction by the Canadian government.
"[Canada] shouldn't be following in the U.S. footsteps," said Langlois, who called the federal government's stance "disappointing."
The same sentiments were echoed by McCoy.
"I really wish that the Canadian government would take a stand against the United States in their foreign policy in a way that they generally don't," she said.
NATO suspends Canadian-led training operations
"The NATO mission and Operation IMPACT's mandate remain the same, but all training activities in Iraq are suspended temporarily as we continue to monitor the security environment," Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan wrote in an email to CBC News.
He said Canada continues to monitor and evaluate the situation in the country, along with its international partners and that the goal "remains a united and stable Iraq, and preventing the re-emergence of Daesh."
The government is also taking precautions to ensure the safety of both civilian and military personnel, he wrote.
With files from Radio-Canada's Yasmine Mehdi