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Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis

The Bread Guy

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Here we go, folks ....
Canada is committing two cargo planes to move military supplies into northern Iraq as part of the international effort to bolster Kurdish forces in the embattled region.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says a CC-177 Globemaster and a CC-130J Hercules transport will begin shuttling arms provided by allies to the Iraqi city of Irbil over the next few days.

The flights, which include some 30 Canadian Forces personnel, will continue as long as there is equipment and supplies to move
.


The U.S. and France are already sending weapons, while Britain has indicated it’s also prepared to help arm the Kurdish forces fighting militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

The al-Qaida splinter group’s hardline militants have already seized large parts of northern Iraq.

The military aircraft are in addition to the $5 million in humanitarian aid committed last weekend by the Conservative government.
 

The Bread Guy

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From the PM's office ....
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement announcing further assistance to the people of Iraq:

“As the murderous rampage of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) continues, Canada remains committed to providing assistance to the thousands of Iraqi children, women and men, including Yezidis and Christians, who desperately need it.

“That is why I am announcing today that a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130J Hercules and a CC-177 Globemaster, along with their crew of approximately 30 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, have been deployed from Canadian Forces Base Trenton to assist in the delivery of critical military supplies from contributing allies to Kurdish forces fighting ISIL.

“This support, which will be provided in close coordination with our allies, will enable Kurdish forces to provide effective protection to Iraqis faced with the barbarous attacks of ISIL. This measure is in addition to the humanitarian assistance Canada is already providing to the country.

“Canada will not stand idly by while ISIL continues its murder of innocent civilians and religious minorities. We continue to monitor the situation in Iraq and are prepared to provide further assistance.

“In the meantime, we call on Iraq’s leadership to take immediate steps to counter ISIL and the terrorists that operate under that banner. We stand ready to support a new Iraqi government that addresses the needs of all Iraqis, regardless of ethnic origin or religious belief.”
 

GAP

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And Canada's not far behind in sending a 6 pack of CF18s, we hope?

and....JTF2 (which is probably already there with the US Special Forces...)
 

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S.M.A. said:
And Canada's not far behind in sending a 6 pack of CF18s, we hope?

Defense News

Unfortunately our expeditionary 6-Pack has just shifted from Romania, where it was close and doing double duty supplying the "threat" of covering Ukrainian forces in the Black Sea, to the Baltic.
 

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Canada is doing yeoman service right now (kudos to our RCAF brethren) delivering lethal aid to the Peshmerga.  :salute:
 

George Wallace

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I don't believe we should be sending in any "token" troops as 'advisers".  I don't believe that we should be sending in a "token" Battle Group either.  We have seen Western nations "come to the rescue" in far flung nations in Africa, the Middle East and South West Asia in the past two decades with little or no solution to the problems.  Somalia is still a hotbed for Al Queda today.  We see the spread of their barbarianism throughout Africa, North Africa through Syria to Iraq, reemerging in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and even whiffs of their spread outside of those confines.

The West has no stomach to fight this war on the same scale as the previous two World Wars.  Western nations have to be prodded to make the minimal of contributions to stop the spread of this barbarianism.  They prefer, in their current safety, to turn a blind eye and hope that the problem will disappear on its own.  It may already be too late, as witnessed in Europe, South West Asia, and a smaller scale in North America, to stop the spread. 

Do I agree that we should send in troops?  Not on the scale that our government currently has indicated.  I believe the only way will be for the West, all the West, to come out of their complacency and step up to committing millions of troops, as in the previous two World Wars, to totally eradicate the barbarians.  I look at what the West is doing now as only a "Band-aid" solution that will allow the problem to fester and grow.  Sadly, there is currently no will to commit millions of troops and the problem will grow and spread.
 

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And now the pressure starts. This CP story is reproduced under the Fair Dealings provision of the Copyright Act.

U.S. wants more help from Canada in Mideast: Harper

By The Canadian Press — CP — Sep 24 2014

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada is weighing an extended military role in the Middle East.

He says he's just received a request in the last few days, from the U.S. government, for further involvement in the fight against Islamist rebels.

Harper made the announcement in a question-and-answer session before the New York business community.

He says there needs to be some debate within the government before he can make a decision.

When pressed for details on the possible new engagement, he declined to offer details because, as he said, the U.S. government "didn't make the letter public."
 

OldSolduer

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Old Sweat said:
And now the pressure starts. This CP story is reproduced under the Fair Dealings provision of the Copyright Act.

U.S. wants more help from Canada in Mideast: Harper

By The Canadian Press — CP — Sep 24 2014

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada is weighing an extended military role in the Middle East.

He says he's just received a request in the last few days, from the U.S. government, for further involvement in the fight against Islamist rebels.

Harper made the announcement in a question-and-answer session before the New York business community.

He says there needs to be some debate within the government before he can make a decision.

When pressed for details on the possible new engagement, he declined to offer details because, as he said, the U.S. government "didn't make the letter public."

This is turning into the Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby story. We have a hand stuck on and if we are not careful we'll have all four limbs stuck.....and we'll lose more troops. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

 

The Bread Guy

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Meanwhile, in the House of Commons, more proof of it being called "Question Period", not "Answer Period" - this from Tuesday (highlights mine):
Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has failed to answer clear questions about his ill-defined military deployment in Iraq.  Yesterday, Conservatives refused once again to answer in this House, but the member for Selkirk—Interlake stated on CPAC that the mission will end on October 4.  Will the Conservative government confirm that the 30-day Canadian commitment in Iraq will indeed end on October 4?

Mr. Paul Calandra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, there is a great deal of confusion with respect to the NDP position on Israel.  I wonder if the Leader of the Opposition could confirm for me whether Alex Anderson, who identifies himself as a fundraiser at the New Democratic Party, speaks for the NDP when he says “[eff] the IDF and all who supports them. I am sick and tired of the media [BS] trying to sell lies and hide an [effing] genocide”.  Does Alex Anderson speak for the NDP when he says these shameful things?

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, I can understand the confusion. We are in the Middle East and we are under the I's, but we are talking about Iraq.  It took over a week for the Prime Minister to answer a simple question about the number of troops involved in the Iraqi deployment. It now appears that Canadian soldiers may require visas approved by the Iraqi government.  Since this military deployment is still ongoing, and since it is set to conclude in 12 days, precisely how many Canadian soldiers are on the ground in Iraq today?

Mr. Paul Calandra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, what does the Leader of the Opposition not understand? Our friends in Israel are on the front lines combatting terrorism.  When people who work for the NDP, like Alex Anderson, who identifies himself as a fundraiser at Canada's NDP, calls what the Israel Defense Forces are doing an effing genocide, and calls the media BS for not supporting the fact that they call it an effing genocide, what does he not understand?  Israel is on the front lines. Canada will continue to support our friends in Israel. We will stand up for peace and security around the world. Unlike them, we are not confused by our position.

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, there are rules in the book about question period. You are our arbiter. We ask you to enforce the rules on relevance and on question period.  When asked at foreign affairs committee just a couple of weeks ago, the minister said that a status of forces agreement with Iraq outlining operating rules for Canadian forces had not yet been completed.  Has that agreement now been completed? If so, when can Canadians see it?

Mr. Paul Calandra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, again, clearly the Leader of the Opposition does not identify or understand the fact that our friends in Israel are on the front lines combatting terrorism in the region.  That is why on this side of the House we support our friends in Israel. Unlike the NDP whose position is all over the place, Canada will stand up for Israel, will stand up for freedom around the world.  The NDP supporter calls it an effing IDF, and all those who support it. He claims that the media is ignoring it, and calls it BS.  We will stand up for Israel. We will stand up for— ....

That, compared to yesterday's exchange:
Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, we are still waiting for answers to the clear questions put to the Conservatives about the military deployment in Iraq.  Yesterday, the Conservatives again refused to answer questions about this and instead chose to make unparliamentary remarks.  The member for Selkirk—Interlake said that the mission will end on October 4. However, he cannot speak for the government because he is not a member of cabinet.  Today in the House, will the Conservative government confirm to Canadians that the 30-day military deployment in Iraq will actually end on October 4?

Mr. James Bezan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, our government has been clear both inside and outside the House that the clock started on the 30-day deployment on September 5. At the end of these 30 days, we will look at renewing the mission. The atrocities currently being committed by ISIL cannot be left unanswered.  It is outrageous that the NDP would have us do nothing in the face of that threat. It is time the NDP explained what it would do to stop ISIL and its terrorist regime.

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, it has been confirmed that Canadian soldiers are required to have visas approved by the Iraqi government before they can be deployed. The member for Selkirk—Interlake, even if he is not a minister and cannot really speak for the government, said last night that there were “some difficulties in dealing with logistics”.  Since this military deployment is still ongoing and since it is set to conclude in just 11 days, precisely how many Canadian soldiers are on the ground in Iraq today?

Mr. James Bezan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no fact to that statement at all. I can confirm that we have committed 69 members of the Canadian special armed forces to be in Iraq to provide tactical and strategic advice in a non-combat role, and that is exactly what we are doing. 

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  I know the Conservatives find this complicated, Mr. Speaker, but it was actually a question and not a statement. The question was: how many of them are on the ground in Iraq now?  When asked two weeks ago in committee, the minister said that a status of forces agreement with Iraq outlining operating rules for Canadian Forces had not yet been completed. That was two weeks ago in a parliamentary committee with the foreign affairs minister.  Has that status of forces agreement now been completed and, if so, will the government table it in Parliament, yes or no?

Mr. James Bezan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, we have committed to 69 members being deployed to northern Iraq to fight—to be in an advisory role with the Peshmerga, helping it out, along with the invitation of the Iraqi government. We are there strictly in an advisory role, non-combat, and it is very clear what we are trying to do there. It has been laid out by the Minister of National Defence and it has been laid out by the Minister of Foreign Affairs over and over again. The NDP just does not get it.  Why are the New Democrats so opposed to us sending over members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have expertise in the area of counterterrorism?

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, there are no boots on the ground, so they must be in sandals or levitating. They are not in a combat mission, but they are there to fight.  Yesterday, the member for Selkirk—Interlake also hinted that it is entirely possible that the 30-day mission in Iraq could last longer.  Before Canada commits itself any further, when will the Conservatives keep their promise to provide all the information to which Canadians and parliamentarians are entitled and to hold a vote in Parliament after a thorough debate?  We have the right to vote, as the Conservatives promised, on whether Canada is to go to war.

Mr. James Bezan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has routinely deployed the Canadian Armed Forces around the world in non-combat roles. It has never been the practice to have a vote on such deployments in Parliament.  Just recently, we have HMCS Toronto in the Black Sea, we have troops on the ground in Poland taking part in exercises and members of the Royal Canadian Air Force plus equipment of the RCAF are involved in air policing missions, all part of NATO's Operation Reassurance. We never voted on any of that.  Having said that, the opposition has its own opposition days when it can bring this forward for debate and also a vote ....
 

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http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/isis-mission-canada-mulls-deploying-cf-18-jets-to-join-u-s-led-strikes-1.2778418

The federal cabinet will meet next week to discuss deploying Canada's CF-18 fighter jets to join a U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, CBC News has learned.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper asked the U.S. what more Canada could do to contribute to American-led coalition efforts in Iraq against ISIS, a Pentagon official said today.

Yesterday, Harper hinted in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that Canada may be ready for an increased role.

"We need to push them to the fringes and make their basic organization and logistical existence very difficult on an ongoing basis," he said. "A lot of that can be done from the air."

Canada currently has some CF-18 fighter jets patrolling eastern Europe, said Thomas Juneau, a former analyst for the Department of Defence.

"Does it mean it's impossible for Canada to deploy CF-18 fighter aircraft in addition to that in the Iraqi theatre?" he asked. "That really depends on how much. For how long."

Harper said he wants to meet with his cabinet before anything is decided. The meeting is expected to take place next week.
 

SupersonicMax

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En français, still related...

http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/infos/regional/quebec/archives/2014/09/20140925-195332.html

Lutte contre l'État Islamique en Irak
Les militaires de Valcartier sont prêts

Les militaires de Valcartier sont sur le qui-vive.

Les rumeurs se font de plus en plus persistantes à l'effet qu'Ottawa donne le feu vert à une intervention militaire canadienne en Irak pour lutter contre l'État Islamiste. Même si plusieurs militaires doutent que des forces terrestres soient déployées, ils demeurent prêts à combattre.

«Pour l'instant, on ne s'en parle pas vraiment. On regarde ce qu'il se dit aux nouvelles. C'est sûr que c'est à Ottawa que ça se décide» dit un premier militaire rencontré à Shannon.

«Il n'y a pas vraiment de sources qui peuvent dire qu'on va y aller. Il n'y a rien qui se discute pour l'instant. S'ils prennent la décision qu'on y va, on va y aller. En attendant, on reste tranquille à la maison», ajoute un compagnon d'armes.

(TVA Nouvelles)

Le colonel à la retraite Michel Drapeau s'attend à une intervention canadienne en Irak, mais peut-être pas à celle des militaires de Valcartier.

«Je ne penserais pas, même, qu'ils pourraient jouer un rôle logistique. Est-ce que les gens de Bagotville pourraient être impliqués? Je crois que oui, avec les CF-18.»

Une mission qui, selon lui, sera beaucoup plus courte que celle en Afghanistan, qui a duré onze ans.

«On parle peut-être d'un 3, 4, 5 ou 6 mois. Peut-être un travail de surveillance après.»

(TVA Nouvelles)

Au Centre de la famille Valcartier, un protocole est déjà en place pour venir en aide aux militaires et leurs proches, si jamais Ottawa officialisait un déploiement en Irak.

«Il y a plusieurs outils qui sont en place depuis la mission en Afghanistan», explique Sylvie Gagnon.

L'objectif est d'encadrer les familles, surtout celles qui vivraient un premier déploiement.

«Les rassurer, mais aussi offrir des services spécifiques: séance d'information, équipe pour l'emploi, des travailleurs sociaux. On leur explique c'est quoi la mission. Ce sont un peu les services qu'on pourrait retrouver dans un CSLC, mais vraiment adaptés à la situation des militaires.»

Les 6000 militaires de la base, eux, poursuivent leur entraînement en attendant qu'on fasse appel à leurs services.

- mod edit to fix link -

 

Marchog

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Bomb them into glass. That's my two cents.

Lutte contre l'État Islamique en Irak
Les militaires de Valcartier sont prêts

Les militaires de Valcartier sont sur le qui-vive.

Les rumeurs se font de plus en plus persistantes à l'effet qu'Ottawa donne le feu vert à une intervention militaire canadienne en Irak pour lutter contre l'État Islamiste. Même si plusieurs militaires doutent que des forces terrestres soient déployées, ils demeurent prêts à combattre.

«Pour l'instant, on ne s'en parle pas vraiment. On regarde ce qu'il se dit aux nouvelles. C'est sûr que c'est à Ottawa que ça se décide» dit un premier militaire rencontré à Shannon.

«Il n'y a pas vraiment de sources qui peuvent dire qu'on va y aller. Il n'y a rien qui se discute pour l'instant. S'ils prennent la décision qu'on y va, on va y aller. En attendant, on reste tranquille à la maison», ajoute un compagnon d'armes.

(TVA Nouvelles)

Le colonel à la retraite Michel Drapeau s'attend à une intervention canadienne en Irak, mais peut-être pas à celle des militaires de Valcartier.

«Je ne penserais pas, même, qu'ils pourraient jouer un rôle logistique. Est-ce que les gens de Bagotville pourraient être impliqués? Je crois que oui, avec les CF-18.»

Une mission qui, selon lui, sera beaucoup plus courte que celle en Afghanistan, qui a duré onze ans.

«On parle peut-être d'un 3, 4, 5 ou 6 mois. Peut-être un travail de surveillance après.»

(TVA Nouvelles)

Au Centre de la famille Valcartier, un protocole est déjà en place pour venir en aide aux militaires et leurs proches, si jamais Ottawa officialisait un déploiement en Irak.

«Il y a plusieurs outils qui sont en place depuis la mission en Afghanistan», explique Sylvie Gagnon.

L'objectif est d'encadrer les familles, surtout celles qui vivraient un premier déploiement.

«Les rassurer, mais aussi offrir des services spécifiques: séance d'information, équipe pour l'emploi, des travailleurs sociaux. On leur explique c'est quoi la mission. Ce sont un peu les services qu'on pourrait retrouver dans un CSLC, mais vraiment adaptés à la situation des militaires.»

Les 6000 militaires de la base, eux, poursuivent leur entraînement en attendant qu'on fasse appel à leurs services.

For those whose français is lacking, a translation:

The struggle against the Islamic State in Iraq.

The soldiers in Valcartier are ready.

Rumours are more and more persistent to the effect that Ottawa will give the green light to a Canadian military intervention in Iraq to fight the Islamic State. Even though many soldiers doubt that ground forces will be deployed, they remain ready for combat.

"At the moment, we're not really talking about it, we're watching what is said in the news, it's certainly up to Ottawa to decide" said a high-ranking soldier at Shannon.

"There aren't really any sources that can say that we'll go there. It's not being discussed at the moment. If they decide that we'll go there, we'll go. While waiting, we'll stay quietly at home" added one of his comrades.

(TVA News)

The retired Colonel Michel Drapeau expects a Canadian intervention in Iraq, but possibly not from the personnel at Valcartier.

"I don't even think they could play a logistic role, could the people at Bagotville be involved? I think so, with the CF-18s".

The mission, according to him, would be much shorter than the one in Afghanistan, which lasted 11 years.

"We're talking about 3, 4, 5, 6 months, maybe surveillance work afterwords."

(TVA News)

In the Valcartier family centre (?), a protocol is already in place to help the soldiers and their families, if Ottawa were ever to make official a deployment to Iraq.

"There are several tools that have been in place since the mission in Afghanistan" explains Sylvie Gagnon.

The objective is to take care of families, especially those that are going through their first deployment.

"It's to reassure them, but also to offer them specific services, information sessions, job team (???), social workers. We explain to them what the mission is. It's a bit like the services you'd find in a CSLC, but adapted to the soldiers' situations."

The 6000 soldiers in the base, as for them, they are continuing their training while waiting for their services to be called upon.


 

dimsum

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Video of Mercedes Stephenson interviewing LGen (ret'd) Ken Pennie regarding the US request for expanded Canadian participation.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/ctv-news-channel/video?clipId=452630&playlistId=1.1261638&binId=1.810401&playlistPageNum=1&binPageNum=1
 

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milnews.ca said:
Meanwhile, in the House of Commons, more proof of it being called "Question Period", not "Answer Period" - this from Tuesday ....
To be fair, here's a bit on the MP's apology:
One of the Conservative government's most colourful guard dogs made a tearful apology to the House of Commons on Friday over his controversial non-answer to an opposition question.

Paul Calandra, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's parliamentary secretary, stood following question period and, his voice cracking with emotion, said he was sorry for failing to answer NDP Leader Tom Mulcair's queries earlier this week about Canada's mission in Iraq.

"I allowed the passion and the anger at something I read to get in the way of appropriately answering a question to the leader of the Opposition," said Calandra, who has spent the last three days on the hot seat of public ridicule.

"For that I apologize to you and to this entire House and to my constituents."

Calandra also suggested to Speaker Andrew Scheer that his response wasn't based on any behind-the-scenes instructions, although Conservative members receive extensive pre-question period prep every day.

"This was my response. I take full responsibility and I apologize to the leader of the Opposition, to you and to all my colleagues." ....
 

Edward Campbell

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This is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail, without comment except to ask: isn't LGen (ret'd) Andrew Leslie M. Trudeau's defence guru, does he agree this?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-must-be-involved-in-iraq-but-not-necessarily-combat-trudeau-says/article20889487/#dashboard/follows/
gam-masthead.png

Canadian jets shouldn’t go into Iraq, Trudeau says

DANIEL LEBLANC AND STEVEN CHASE
Ottawa — The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Oct. 02 2014

The Liberal Party is withholding its support for a Canadian combat mission in Iraq, with Leader Justin Trudeau saying he remains unconvinced of the need to send Canadian fighter jets to fight against Islamic State extremists.

In a speech and news conference on Thursday, Mr. Trudeau said there is a need for humanitarian aid to deal with the crisis in Iraq, but added he has “serious concerns” about the potential for a Canadian participation in ongoing air strikes.

OTTK108_Trudeau_20141002.JPG

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference following a Canada2020 event in Ottawa on Thursday, October 2, 2014.
(Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)


“Why aren’t we talking more about the kind of humanitarian aid that Canada can and must be engaged in, rather than, you know, trying to whip out our CF-18s and show them how big they are,” Mr. Trudeau said in a question-and-answer period after his speech to the Canada 2020 conference.

Mr. Trudeau told the crowd that he hasn’t made up his mind on endorsing the expansion of Canada’s military mission, but party officials added afterward that it would take a massive shift in the government’s handling of the matter to obtain Liberal support.

The Prime Minister’s Office quickly attacked Mr. Trudeau for his comments on Canada’s fleet of fighter jets.

“Mr. Trudeau’s comments are disrespectful of the Canadian Armed Forces and make light of a serious issue. Our involvement in the fight against ISIL is, and has been, motivated by a desire to do our part in fighting a group that has made direct terrorist threats against Canada and Canadians, in addition to carrying out atrocities against children, women and men in the region,” said PMO director of communications Jason MacDonald. “As the Prime Minister has said: we take that seriously and will do our part.”

The government has promised to allow a debate and a vote in the House before launching any combat mission in Iraq. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said earlier this week that participating in the international coalition is a “noble and necessary” cause, but has refused to provide details on the potential Canadian contribution to any combat mission.

The Liberals have endorsed the current non-combat mission involving a few dozen Canadian Forces members in Iraq. The party has refused to this point to clearly approve or oppose the possibility of an expanded mission in Iraq, stating Mr. Harper has failed to brief them on the mission or make a clear case for a Canadian involvement.

“Unlike prime ministers for decades before him, Mr. Harper has made no effort to build a non-partisan case for war. Instead he dares us to oppose his war, staking out not moral territory but political territory,” Mr. Trudeau said in his speech. “We don’t know exactly what he has offered the Americans. We don’t know what our role will look like. We don’t know how long our contribution is expected to last. We don’t know how helpful our CF-18s will truly be. In place of these facts we get rhetoric about the nobility of combat.”

Government sources say the Prime Minister will announce Canada’s plans for Iraq on Friday, including whether to extend a 30-day non-combat deployment of military advisers to the region, where extremist Islamists have cut a path of destruction across parts of Syria and Iraq.

Cabinet this week debated a request from the United States for Ottawa to play a combat role in Iraq by supporting air strikes against Islamic State forces. This could include deploying CF-18 fighters, refuelling tankers or even surveillance aircraft to the theatre of war.

While the NDP is not officially opposed to an expanded military mission, Leader Thomas Mulcair distanced himself from what he called “the Prime Minister’s war in Iraq” during Question Period on Wednesday. After a caucus meeting, Mr. Mulcair said that the focus should be on providing humanitarian assistance in the region.

“This is not a UN mission, so we have to be extremely careful before we start listening to the siren songs of those who would propel us full-force into a war,” he told reporters.
 
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