Canadian soldier from Winnipeg dies in Iraq under 'non-operational related circumstances'

Capt. Eric Cheung had been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces since 2009, most recently as an operations officer with 38 Canadian Brigade Group headquarters, based in Winnipeg. (Government of Canada - image credit)
Capt. Eric Cheung had been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces since 2009, most recently as an operations officer with 38 Canadian Brigade Group headquarters, based in Winnipeg. (Government of Canada - image credit)

The Canadian Armed Forces is investigating the death of a Winnipeg-based soldier who was stationed in Iraq.

Capt. Eric Cheung, 38, died Saturday under non-operational-related circumstances in Baghdad, a news release from the Department of National Defence said.

No further details about the circumstances of the death will be made available until the investigation is complete, the release said.

"Our thoughts are with Capt. Cheung's family and friends. The Canadian Armed Forces are supporting Captain Cheung's loved ones with assistance during these challenging times," the DND release said.

The family has requested that their privacy be respected.

Cheung had been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces since 2009, most recently as an operations officer with 38 Canadian Brigade Group headquarters, based in Winnipeg.

He was in Baghdad as part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, a militant group fighting to establish an Islamist state, when he died.

Canada has had troops in Iraq since 2014, when ISIS first captured a large swath of territory and declared an Islamic caliphate.

Cheung was part of the Canadian Armed Forces' contribution to Operation IMPACT in support of the global coalition.

Canada has been steadily scaling back its presence in the region over the years, with only a handful of military personnel remaining in the country as other priorities have emerged.