Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday Canada would pull out six jets that have been bombing targets in Iraq and Syria, ending Canada’s controversial combat role in the effort against Islamic State.
Trudeau's Liberals won an election last October promising to pull the jets out but had been under pressure from allies unhappy with the decision. Bombing had begun in April 2015 under the previous Conservative government.
“In any mission, you need to make choices. We can’t do everything. In our decision, we were guided by our desire to do what we could do best to help in the region and to do it in the right way,” Trudeau said during a news conference.
“The people terrorised by ISIL (Islamic State) every day don't need our vengeance, they need our help.” Canada will end its bombing missions by Feb. 22 but keep two surveillance planes in the region as well as refueling aircraft, and triple the number of soldiers training Kurdish troops in northern Iraq to about 200, from about 70 currently, the government said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2016.
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