Canadian forces train Lebanese Armed Forces in winter warfare

Picture credit: Canada’s Joint Task Force – Impact’s Canadian Training Assistance Team in Lebanon (CTAT-L) Facebook page. (photo credit: CANADIAN ARMED FORCES IN LEBANON)

Canada’s Armed Forces are in Lebanon training troops in basic winter warfare which will allow them to better protect their borders, read a Facebook post by Canada’s Joint Task Force – Impact’s Canadian Training Assistance Team in Lebanon (CTAT-L). The training in the “snowy mountains of Lebanon” is aimed to help the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to improve their basic military capabilities such as patrolling, skiing and mountaineering, tying knots and ascending and rappelling.

Canada has deployed close to 850 troops to the Middle East as part of Operation IMPACT, which began in 2014 and has since changed from a combat mission against Islamic State militants to a mission to train, assist and advise security forces. As part of Operation IMPACT, CTAT-L trains LAF forces to secure its border with Syria and also provides cold weather clothing, tool kits for border outposts and combat first-aid training.

The Canadian Armed Force (CAF) “operations in Lebanon are part of Canada’s whole of government approach to enhancing the security and capability of the region,” the post read, adding that the their “presence in the Middle East is helping to set the conditions for the long-term success of regional partners, like Lebanon, by enabling their military forces to more effectively secure their borders and plan and execute operations against destabilizing organizations like Daesh.”

Canada has also provided LAF logistics trucks and snowmobile trailers in late February during the ceremony marking the graduation of LAF troops from the basic winter warfare training which was attended by Joint Task Force-Impact Commander, Brig.-Gen. Colin Keiver, senior ranking officers of the LAF and Canada’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Emmanuelle Lamoureux.
“It is here that the Canadian Armed Forces has a niche opportunity to help build the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces,” CTAT-L team leader Lt.-Col. David Hill was quoted as saying on another Facebook post,

adding that “As Canadians, we know the cold and it’s something our soldiers are used to operating in. We can share that expertise with Lebanese soldiers who are charged with protecting Lebanon’s snowy and mountainous border region.”In September, a report by the London-based daily Asharq Al-Awsat said that Hezbollah’s growing influence on Lebanon’s government has lead the United States to consider stopping to provide military aid to the LAF and other Lebanese security agencies.

International weapon sales to Lebanon are also under heavy scrutiny over fears that they could end up in the hands of Hezbollah.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a deadly 33-day war in 2006, which came to an end under UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which called for the disarmament of Hezbollah, the withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon, the deployment of the Lebanese army and an enlarged UN force in the south. Senior officials in Israel’s defense establishment have warned that Lebanon’s army has lost its independence and has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s network. According to the IDF,

cooperation between the LAF and Hezbollah has increased in the past year and has warned that the next war will see Israel target not only military infrastructure but civilian infrastructure used by Hezbollah. It is believed that in the event of another war with Hezbollah, the IDF’s objective would be to occupy parts of southern Lebanon in order to force a UN resolution that improves the security situation on the northern border.

Source: The Jerusalem Post