Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Monday that Canada's Boeing F-18 fighter jets will cease operations against the Islamic State group no later than Feb. 22. At the same time, the Liberal Party leader outlined Canada’s new mission in Syria and Iraq, where the North American country will deliver C$840 million ($602 million) worth of “food, shelter, healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as protection and emergency education,” according to an official Canadian government document released Monday.

“Our new approach to Iraq, Syria and the surrounding region will be challenging and dangerous at times,” Trudeau said, flanked by three cabinet ministers at the National Press Theater on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, according to a National Observer report. “There will be lessons learned as we adapt to changing circumstances on the ground. I am confident that we are up to these challenges and that we will show the world all that Canada can accomplish in a crisis situation."


Ending Canada’s bombing campaign, which was a Liberal Party pre-election promise, has drawn criticism from Trudeau’s Conservative rivals in Parliament, who say the country is abandoning its allies during a pivotal period for Iraq and Syria. While slow progress is being made in Iraq to rid the country of the terrorist group, aka ISIS, the Western coalition in Syria has done little in the way of beating back the organization since operations began in June 2014. 

In response, Trudeau said that while Canada is ending one element of its military campaign, it is increasing efforts in training Iraqi and other forces on the ground. 

Since taking power in November last year, Trudeau committed the country to taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees before the end of the year. During emotional scenes at airports in Toronto and Montreal over Christmas and New Year's, Syrians were given immediate residency and safe places to live. In total, Canada has taken in more than 16,000 Syrian refugees and is looking at applications from another 13,700, according to government stats.