And so it begins.
Justin Trudeau has confirmed he will withdraw Canadian CF-18 fighter jets from the international coalition air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Prime Minister-delegate Trudeau informed U.S. President Barack Obama of his decision to end Canada’s aerial engagement in the region shortly after leading his Liberal Party to victory in Monday’s general election.
In his first telephone conversation with President Obama, Trudeau informed the president that he would make good on his campaign pledge to withdraw Canadian jets from theatre.
“I committed that we would continue to engage in a responsible way that understands how important Canada has a role to play in the fight against ISIL, but he [Barack Obama] understands the commitments I’ve made around ending the combat mission,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa on Tuesday.
He has not yet provided a timescale for the withdrawal, however.
“We will be moving forward with our campaign commitments in a responsible fashion,” Trudeau remarked. “We want to ensure the transition is done in an orderly fashion.”
The ex-high school drama teacher has promised to provide humanitarian aid in Iraq and Syria and have the Canadian Armed Forces engage in training missions, not bombing operations.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest stated on Tuesday morning that outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper can also expect a call from Obama in the near future, according to the CBC.
“Our bilateral relationship has enhanced the security and prosperity of the American people and we certainly are appreciative of Prime Minister Harper’s efforts to strengthen that relationship, and we look forward to building on that kind of progress when Mr. Trudeau takes over the Prime Minister’s Office.”
Since the Fall of 2014, Canadian aircraft involved in the Canadian Armed Forces' contribution to the Middle East Stabilization Force (MESF), designated Operation Impact, have conducted 1637 sorties.
Canada's six deployed CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, one CC-150T Polaris aerial refuelling aircraft, two CP-140M Aurora surveillance aircraft and accompanying support elements have struck ISIS at its core. ISIS has reportedly lost the ability to operate freely in 25 to 30 per cent of populated areas of Iraqi territory it previously controlled.
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) during Operation IMPACT
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