Canada's Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau said he told US President Barack Obama that Canadian fighter jets would withdraw from fighting the ISIS group in Iraq and Syria. But he gave no timeline.
While Canada remains “a strong member of the coalition against ISIL,” Trudeau said he made clear to the U.S. leader “the commitments I have made around ending the combat mission.”
Canada last year deployed CF-18 fighter jets (photo) to the region until March 2016, as well as about 70 Special Forces troops to train Kurds in northern Iraq.
During the campaign, Trudeau pledged to bring home the fighter jets and end its combat mission. But he vowed to keep military trainers in place.
His new Liberal government will be “moving forward with our campaign commitments in a responsible fashion,” Trudeau said.
“We want to ensure that the transition is done in an orderly fashion.”
Meanwhile, the United States and Russia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes air safety measures so pilots from the two countries steer clear of each other as they conduct separate bombing campaigns, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
“The Memorandum contains a number of rules and restrictions aimed at preventing incidents between American and Russian plans,” Deputy Defense Minister, Anatoly Antonov said, according to Ria-Novosti.
Russia asked for “deconfliction” talks with the United States after Moscow began bombing Syria on September 30.
The United States is leading a 60-plus member coalition targeting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria and has been carrying out frequent raids for more than a year.
Russia also claims to be targeting ISIS and other “terrorists” but the Pentagon says it is hitting non-ISIS rebels fighting government forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.