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Canada vs ISIS: A fact file on the mission in Iraq
The Conservative government will present a motion in the House of Common to extend and expand Canada’s military mission in Iraq.
Canada's six-month mandate for the mission is set to expire on April 7. Here is a snapshot of the mission so far.
OPERATION IMPACT BY THE NUMBERS
- 28 October 2014 – Aircraft, aircrew and supporting personnel arrived in Kuwait
- 600 Canadian air force personnel participating in air strikes against ISIS
- 69 Canadian Special forces training Kurdish fighters in the north
- $122-million cost so far, covering aircraft and ammunition costs, troop deployment, vehicle usage, and meals/accommodation for troops.
CANADA’S AIR CONTRIBUTION
- One CC-150 Polaris air-to-air refuelling aircraft
- Two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft
- Six CF-18 fighter jets to the mission
- One dedicated airlift plane to enhance the refuelling, air surveillance and transportation capacity of coalition members.
- 9 March 2015 - CF-188 Hornets successfully struck a series of ISIL staging areas and fighting positions west of Kirkuk
- 8 March 2015 - CF-188 Hornets successfully struck two ISIL ammunition caches southeast of Haditha
- 7 March 2015 - CF-188 Hornets successfully struck ISIL fighting positions south of Kirkuk
CASUALTIES SO FAR
Earlier this month, Sgt. Andrew Joseph Doiron was killed in a friendly fire incident when members of the Special Forces were mistakenly fired upon by Kurdish fighters. Three other soldiers were injured.
WHERE THE PARTIES STAND
On October 7, 2014, the government motion on Iraq passed 157-134.
The Conservatives voted in favour of the motion. The Prime Minister said “We do not take this step lightly. The threat posed by [ISIS] is real...If left unchecked, this terrorist organization will grow and grow quickly. They have already voiced their local and international terrorist intentions and identified Canada as a potential target."
The Liberals were split on this motion, but Liberal leader Justin Trudeau voted against it, urging instead for providing humanitarian aid to those displaced by the conflict.
“Why aren’t we talking more about the kind of humanitarian aid that Canada can and must be engaged in, rather than trying to whip out our CF-18s and show them how big they are? It just doesn’t work like that in Canada….We can be resourceful and there are significant, substantial, non-combat roles that Canada can play.”
The NDP voted against the motion. Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair spoke out against the mission, calling for more clarity over what role Canada would play.
“The Conservative government has yet to make the case for any sort of mission in Iraq, including a combat mission” he said. “They haven’t in any way, shape or form been able to show to the Canadian people why that is Canada’s best contribution in the current crisis.” As for any further extension, he said, “I can guarantee you we'll once again be opposed to any involvement of Canadian troops in what is simply not our war."