Canadian Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday he told U.S. President Barack Obama he plans to withdraw Canadian fighter jets from the fight against the Islamic State Group in Iraq and Syria, Agence France-Presse reported. Trudeau gave no indication in terms of a timeline for the withdrawal.
Last year, Canada deployed fighter jets to the region, pledging to stay until March 2016, along with roughly 70 special forces troops to train Kurds in northern Iraq. During Trudeau’s campaign, in which the Liberal leader was pitted against Canada’s defeated Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Trudeau pledged to withdraw the fighter jets and end the combat mission, but to keep the military trainers in place.
Incoming Canadian PM Trudeau tells Obama that he is pulling his fighter jets from fight against ISIS pic.twitter.com/lFfyePGZgm
— Shepard Smith (@ShepNewsTeam) October 20, 2015
The Liberal Party has clashed with the Conservative Party over the government’s proposal to extend combat missions in Iraq and Syria.
"Obviously, going forward these are all decisions that the Canadian people have to make," U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the daily press briefing Tuesday before Trudeau made his announcement, at the same time lauding the close relationship between the U.S. and Canada.