WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Canada has started the acquisition process for small arms and light support weapons for the Kurdish fighters in Iraq and intends to deliver the equipment as soon as possible, the Canadian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
"The acquisition of the equipment is underway," the statement said on Monday. "The intent remains to deliver the items as quickly as possible, in line with suppliers’ ability to provide the quantities sought."
Canada will also provide the Kurdish Peshmerga forces with personal protective equipment, communications systems, medical supplies and optics, such as cameras, sights and scopes, according to the statement.
The Defense Ministry noted that the exact time lines for the acquisition of the equipment remains unknown, but suppliers are preparing bids for the order.
At present, the Canadian Foreign and Defense Ministries are refining administrative arrangements to make sure "adequate controls" are in place to regulate the use of the equipment.
"Once signed by the government of Iraq and by the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, these arrangements will provide Canada the assurances required to proceed with the contribution," the statement added.
Canada is a member of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State and has provided significant capacity-building support for the Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga troops.
The Islamic State, also known as Daesh in Arabic, is outlawed in Russia and numerous other countries.