Canada to Withdraw From US-Led Bombing Campaign in Iraq and Syria
Newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told US President Obama that Canada 'will continue to engage in a responsible way' in fight against ISIS
Just one day after being elected to power, incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would be withdrawing its troops from the U.S.-led mission against the Islamic State.
During a press conference on Tuesday, the Liberal Party leader said that he spoke to U.S. President Obama and confirmed that his country's military would no longer partake in the bombing of Iraq and Syria, though he indicated that Canada would still "have a role" in the campaign.
"He understands the commitments I've made around ending the combat mission," said Trudeau.
"We talked about Canada's continued engagement as strong member of the coalition" against ISIS, he added, noting that Canada "will continue to engage in a responsible way" in the fight.
Analysts say that the swift action marks what they expect will be a return to the country's historic diplomacy on the world stage. Under Trudeau's predecessor Stephen Harper, Canada took a sharp turn towards militarism.
"Trudeau will return Canada to its traditional approach in foreign affairs which is characteristic of every single government but Harper's," University of Toronto professor Robert Bothwell told AP. "Canada will go back to multilateralism, back to strong support for the United Nations."
Trudeau did not give a specific timeline for the withdrawal. Canada currently has six CF-18 fighter jets taking part in the campaign, the Guardian notes, which "were due to remain in the region until March 2016."
Further, the country "has also deployed around 70 special forces troops to train Kurds in northern Iraq, although Trudeau has previously indicated that this mission would continue," the Guardian adds.
Canadian fighter jets have been participating in the coalition airstrikes for roughly one year.
The promise to end Canada's participation in the bombing campaign is but one of the many pledges made by Trudeau on the campaign trail. Since the Liberal Party's landslide victory on Monday, progressives have pledged to push the new majority party on a number of other key issues, including the environment, Indigenous rights, privacy, and trade.