Canada’s fighter jets will end their fight in Iraq and Syria within two weeks.
They will be replaced by what the Liberal government is calling an expanded mission focused on training local security forces and helping to rebuild the shattered region.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says while the Canadian bombs will stop falling by February 22nd, the number of military personnel in the region will climb to 830 from the current 650.
They will provide planning, targeting and intelligence expertise.
He also announced the size of Canada’s “train, advise and assist” mission will triple, including additional medical personnel and equipment including small arms, ammunition and optics to assist in training Iraqi security forces.
Trudeau told an Ottawa news conference that we should avoid doing precisely what our enemies want us to do — elevate them, give in to fear and indulge in hatred.
He says the people terrorized by I-SIL every day don’t need our vengeance, they need our help.
Trudeau points out that Canada learned the hard way during 10 years in Afghanistan that airstrike operations, while useful in the short term for “military and territorial gains,” do not result in long-term stability.
He says the Liberals support what will be effective — “not for what will make us feel good to say at any given moment.”
The time frame for Canada’s contribution to the mission against I-SIL is also being extended until the end of March, 2017.
(The Canadian Press)