Thursday October 2, 2014
Military mission in Iraq ‘noble and necessary,’ Stephen Harper says
Canada is preparing to dispatch fighter jets to Iraq on a military mission against Islamic extremists that Prime Minister Stephen Harper hails as “noble and necessary.”
As the Conservative government privately considered its options Tuesday, Harper publicly left little doubt that Canada would soon be joining other nations in the escalating battle against the Islamic State fighters.
“I believe that the mission undertaken by our allies . . . is of necessary actions and of noble actions,” Harper said in the Commons.
“When we think something is necessary and noble, we do not sit back and say only other people should do it. The Canadian way is we do our part.”
But the prime minister also vowed that if Canada commits to a combat role, it would not be a long, protracted battle, as leaders in Britain and Australia have warned.
“We will obviously look carefully at steps that we believe would not leave us there in a quagmire for years,” he said.
Asked how he would define victory, Harper said the goal would be to cripple the Islamic State’s capacity to continue a “genocide” against people in Iraq and Syria and plan attacks against Canada.
“The government will act. We will act with our allies to make sure those capacities are degraded in a way that they will not continue to be a threat to this country,” he said.
Canada is weighing a recent U.S. request for additional help in the battle against the Islamic State, an Al Qaeda splinter group that has been claiming territory in Syria and swaths of Iraq.
On the table is a proposal to send CF-18 fighters to join ongoing airstrikes, along with possible contributions of air-to-air refueller aircraft and CP-140 Aurora reconnaissance planes.
The government also must decide whether to extend the ongoing non-combat mission by a small team of military advisers in northern Iraq that is due to end on Saturday. (Source: Toronto Star)
Posted to National Newswatch.