Canada to Begin Syrian Airstrikes Against ISIS in Two Days

Canada is set to begin airstrikes in Syria within two days after the country’s House of Commons has approved the government’s plan to expand its military mission in Iraq,  authorities said Tuesday.

Voting 142-129 in favor of a motion extending the mission for up to a full year, the Federal MPs also authorized Canadian fighter jets to conduct bombing runs in Syria against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.

CBC News reported that the airstrikes in Syria could begin within a day or two and that Canada will deploy six CF-18 fighter jets, one CC-150 Polaris air-to-air refueling aircraft and two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft.

Canadian officials said Canada ha the moral obligation to do its part to beat back the global threat of terrorism and that military strikes in Syria are legally justified.

The opposition, however, argued that the country lacks the legal basis to expand air strikes into Syria without that country’s express consent, something the Conservatives had said last year they would seek before expanding the mission.

In a statement after the vote, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the global threat that ISIL poses remains even as the coalition has succeeded in stopping the group’s territorial spread.

“In particular, we cannot stand on the sidelines while ISIL continues to promote terrorism in Canada as well as against our allies and partners, nor can we allow ISIL to have a safe haven in Syria,” Harper said.

As this developed, the Agence France-Presse reported that the Islamic group executed at least 30 people, including two children, during an attack in the central Syrian city of Hama on Tuesday.

Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said ISIS militants killed at least 30 people, including women and children.

The killing was gruesome as some of the victims, all residents of Mabujeh village, were burned, beheaded and shot at. –