Canadian Armed Forces ends airstrike operations against ISIL


The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has ended airstrike operations as part of the Middle East Stabilisation Force's operations against ISIS.

The decision will see the nation withdraw six CF-18 Hornets, associated aircrew and support personnel from Operation IMPACT in the near future.

Canadian Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan said: "I'm proud of the efforts of our CF-18 aircrews and all those who supported airstrike operations.

"I appreciate greatly their contribution and that of all members who have deployed on Operation IMPACT.

"I am proud of all members who have deployed on Operation IMPACT who made a valuable contribution to the stability and security of Iraq and the region."

"Canadians owe you and your families a debt of gratitude for your service and sacrifice."

The CAF will now on focus on air-to-air refuelling and aerial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions in support of the air operations.

Additionally, CAF will train Iraqi security forces and support the coalition and regional partners in the campaign against ISIS.

Canadian Defence Staff chief general Jonathan Vance said: "In preparing for and conducting airstrike operations, our members responded quickly and effectively to contribute to efforts to halt the spread of ISIL and degrade the group's capabilities.

"I am proud of all members who have deployed on Operation IMPACT who made a valuable contribution to the stability and security of Iraq and the region."

The decision to stop air strikes is part of the poll promises made last year by Trudeau, who became the prime minister in November.