Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will cease all coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) no later than Feb. 22, while it beefs up its military efforts including the number of special forces deployed to train Iraqi forces on the ground.
Trudeau made the announcement Monday morning in Ottawa, accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion, National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and the Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau.
Trudeau said Canada will triple the number of Canadian Forces members helping train local ground troops to fight ISIS and increase by 230 the number of troops deployed as part of Joint Task Force-Iraq.
Some 69 special forces are currently there training Kurdish fighters along with approximately 600 Canadian Armed Forces members.
Trudeau’s announcement comes as Sajjan prepares to leave for Brussels, where he will meet with NATO defence ministers on Feb. 10-11.
The previous Conservative government committed Canada to the coalition airstrikes until March, but the new Liberal government was elected on a pledge to pull Canada’s six CF-18 fighter jets out of the bombing mission.
-More at CBC