Kurds expected ISIS ambush ahead of friendly-fire incident that killed Canadian


Kurdish general disputes account that the Canadian soldiers were training

CBC News Posted: Mar 16, 2015 8:34 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 16, 2015 8:38 AM ET

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Peshmerga troops were on high alert and waiting for an ambush the night they opened fire on a Canadian special operations team in northern Iraq, according to the Kurdish general in charge of the frontline area where Sgt. Andrew Doiron was killed.

Gen. Musa Younis Johar said his soldiers had been warned of a possible attack from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants the night the 31-year-old died. He said there were no checkpoints and no training, only an active battlefront.

Johar said the special forces team hadn’t co-ordinated with his troops and failed to answer a request for a code word. When they responded in Arabic, his troops opened fire. 

However, a Canadian official told CBC News that Doiron and his colleagues had been training the Kurds in the use of special optical equipment and had told them they would return later that evening.

The Canadians had already successfully passed through two checkpoints the night of March 6 before a young peshmerga soldier at a third opened fired. 

The other three Canadian soldiers were also hit and one of them was seriously wounded. The well-armed Canadians, realizing immediately that it was friendly fire, did not fire a single round in response, according to the official.

Watch the video report above from CBC’s Rebecca Collard.

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