“Canada will cease all coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State”

Justin Trudeau says Canada will cease all coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria by Feb. 22, while it beefs up its military efforts, including the number of special forces deployed on the ground to train Iraqi forces for the next two years. “It is important to understand that while airstrike operations can be very useful to achieve short-term military and territorial gains, they do not on their own achieve long-term stability for local communities,” Trudeau said during an announcement in Ottawa on Monday. “Canadians learned this lesson first-hand during a very difficult decade in Afghanistan, where our forces became expert military trainers renowned around the world.” Trudeau said while Canada will pull its six fighter jets from the bombing mission, it will also triple, from 69, the number of Canadian Forces members helping train local ground troops to fight ISIS in northern Iraq. It will also increase by 230 the 600 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed as part coalition mission. Canada’s military effort under Operation IMPACT will also include maintaining aircrew and support personnel for one CC-150 Polaris aerial refuelling aircraft and up to two CP-140 Aurora aerial surveillance aircraft. Canada will also send troops to mark targets for the coalition partners.

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