Canadian fighter jets will soon be launching airstrikes in Syria now that the House of Commons has approved the federal government’s plan to expand and extend its military mission in Iraq.
Federal MPs voted 142-129 in favour of a motion extending the mission for up to a full year and authorizing bombing runs in Syria against targets belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The original mission deployed six CF-18 fighter jets, one CC-150 Polaris air-to-air refuelling aircraft, two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft. Some 600 aircrew and other personnel are currently deployed.
Up to 69 special forces advisers will also remain in the region to advise and assist Kurdish peshmerga forces in their efforts to beat back the advance of ISIL militants.
The Conservatives say military strikes in Syria are legally justified and necessary, and that Canada has a moral obligation to do its part to beat back the global threat of terrorism.
Neither the Liberals nor the NDP are supporting the mission, saying Canada should be engaged in more humanitarian efforts in Iraq and Syria.