Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided new details on his plans to shift Canada’s military mission against Islamic State, stating that the number of Canadian Forces trainers on the ground will be larger than the current contingent of 69 soldiers.
The comments come a day after he confirmed Canada’s bombing mission in the region will come to an end before March, 2016, when the current parliamentary mandate expires.
Officials with the new Liberal government are in discussions with their U.S. counterparts to work out the exact details of Canada’s new role, but Mr. Trudeau confirmed that it will involve more boots on the ground.
“Obviously we committed throughout the campaign and I’ve committed repeatedly to my allies that we were going to do more on the training front and that means obviously more than just 69 trainers,” said Mr. Trudeau. “How many that will be, what form that will take, what kind of engagement we’re going to have, those are things that we’re going to work out but I have reassured my allies and Canadians that, yes, we will be doing more.”
The Prime Minister made the comments while answering questions from reporters during a flight between the G20 Summit that wrapped up Monday in Antalya, Turkey and the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit that starts Wednesday in Manila, Philippines.
Canada’s military contribution to the coalition against the Islamic State is under close scrutiny following the deadly terror attacks in Paris. The French government responded by escalating its bombing campaign in Syria while also urging the United States and Russia to work more closely together in fighting IS in Syria.
“We’re putting a very, very thoughtful approach to all the different ways that Canada can help,” said Mr. Trudeau. “But the one thing I have insisted on in my conversations and will continue to insist on with our allies and friends is Canada will continue to play a meaningful role in making a positive difference.”
MANILA — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 5:49AM EST
Last updated Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 7:25AM EST