OTTAWA – A Canadian Armed Forces soldier was killed yesterday, March 6th, 2015 in Iraq at approximately 3:50 p.m. local Ottawa time in a friendly fire incident when members of the Special Operations Forces were mistakenly engaged by Iraqi Kurdish forces following their return to an observation post behind the front lines.
Killed in action was Sergeant Andrew Joseph Doiron, from the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, based at Garrison Petawawa, Ontario.
Three other members were injured in the incident and are receiving medical care for their injuries.
The Department of National Defense in a statement said, “Our thoughts are with the families and friends of our fallen soldier and the injured members during this difficult time. We will not forget the sacrifice of this soldier as we continue on our mission to help advise and assist the Iraqi Security Forces in their fight against the so-called Islamic State (ISIL)”.
Members of CANSOFCOM are in Iraq to participate in Op IMPACT, the Canadian government’s efforts to provide assistance to Iraqi forces as they face threats posed by the extremist militant group ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant).
Operation IMPACT is the CAF’s contribution to the Middle East Stabilization Force (MESF), the international coalition assisting security forces in the Republic of Iraq who are fighting against ISIL.
CANSOFCOM’s role in Op IMPACT, with the support of other Canadian Armed Forces elements, is to provide military advice and assistance.
Approximately 600 personnel, including aircrew support elements such as command, control and logistics are participating in Op IMPACT. This includes 69 members of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command already working in an advisory and assistance role by providing strategic and tactical advice to Iraqi security forces.
“It is with profound sadness that I have learned of the death of Sergeant Andrew Joseph Doiron in Iraq today. We have lost another invaluable member of our family. A soldier and a warrior, Sergeant Doiron was a consummate professional appreciated by all. His sacrifice will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. I am grateful for his service and dedication. He will be missed,” shared General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff.
“Every member of Canada’s Special Operations Forces Command feels a great loss at Drew’s passing. He was a gifted special operator and a great leader. He loved his job and the people he soldiered with. We grieve with Drew’s family and extend our condolences to them. Our thoughts are also with our three injured operators. We will bring Drew home with all dignity and wrap our arms around our injured Brothers and we will carry on with our important mission in Iraq,” stated Brigadier-General Michael Rouleau, Commander of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command