Politics

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan in Baghdad to talk anti-ISIS mission

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has made an unannounced visit to Baghdad to discuss Canada's role in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Sajjan's visit coincides with surprise trip by U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter

Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, second left, walks with Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi, centre, on his arrival to the Iraqi Ministry of Defence in Baghdad on Monday. (The Associated Press)

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has made an unannounced visit to Baghdad to discuss Canada's role in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"Due to security concerns in the region, we do not publicise his travel until after he has departed," Sajjan spokeswoman Jordan Owens confirmed in an email to CBC News.

But news of the minister's trip became public when local media posted footage of the visit to YouTube, Owens said.

Owens said the defence minister is meeting with Iraqi and Kurdish officials about "Canada's ongoing contribution" to the global fight against ISIS.

U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter also arrived on a surprise visit to Baghdad on Monday, where he announced the United States will send 560 more troops to Iraq to transform a freshly retaken air base into a staging hub for the long-awaited battle to recapture Mosul from ISIS militants. 

Sajjan is expected to leave the region and return to Canada on Thursday. 

Sajjan shakes hands with senior Iraqi officers on his arrival to the Ministry of Defence in Baghdad. (The Associated Press)

With files from Associated Press

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.