No timeline yet for Canada's withdrawal from ISIS combat mission: Gen. Vance
Canada’s top soldier says a timeline has not yet been set for the promised withdrawal of Canadian troops from the bombing mission against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.
“We’re certainly working on it and all those details will come,” Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance told reporters at the Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa on Wednesday.
Vance said he has discussed troop withdrawal with the new Liberal government. He said he has provided “confidential” advice to the cabinet and is “not in a position to share” details of those discussions.
Ending Canada’s participation in the combat mission against ISIS was one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election campaign promises.
Trudeau has said that Canada would still be engaged “in a responsible way,” likely in a training capacity to improve local troops’ ability to fight ISIS.
After he was elected, Trudeau said he told U.S. President Barack Obama in their first telephone conversation that he would be pulling Canadian troops from the combat mission.
Canada’s contribution to the fight against ISIS includes six CF-18 Hornet fighter jets, two Aurora surveillance planes and approximately 600 Canadian Armed Forces personnel.
As of Nov. 8, the Canadian troops have conducted more than 1,700 sorties – or operational flights – over Iraq since the mission began more than a year ago.