Details on Canada’s proposed combat mission against ISIL were released in the House of Commons Friday.
Prime Minister Harper stood up in the House and outlined his plan which will include airstrikes in Iraq.
The announcement comes as another internet video purports to show an Islamic State group fighter beheading a British hostage,
and threatening to kill another American.
The photo was released earlier this week — when warnings surfaced that Alan Henning would be the next to die. Reports say the video posted tonight — shows his death — and it mirrors the other beheading videos shot by the Islamic State group.
At the end, they threaten another man, identified as an American Peter Kassig. Henning was an aid convoy volunteer. If this latest video is authentic, he will be the fourth western hostage to be killed since August.
This latest video follows a United Nations report released earlier this week that says many of ISIL’s acts amount to war crimes. The U.N. says ISIL has attacked and killed professional women, doctors and lawyers. There are also reports of abduction, sexual violence and child soldiers.
Both opposition parties are against engaging in a war against ISIL. It’s a war that is being led by the United States. But this afternoon, the Prime Minister said, it is important for Canada to be a part of this fight: “It has never been the Canadian way to do only the most easy and praiseworthy of actions and to leave the tough things for others. Indeed Mr. Speaker, colleagues, we should be under no illusion if Canada wants to keep its voice in the world, and we should since so many of our challenges are global. Being a free rider means you are not taken seriously.”
Let’s look at exactly what the motion is proposing. The Canadian Forces would commit up to 6 CF18 fighter jets to carry out air strikes. An air to air refueling craft and two surveillance air craft. They will also commit 69 military advisers. The timeline is set at up to 6 months, but Harper was clear to say, no boots on the ground.
In the House today, Harper said that the air strikes would first fight ISIL in Iraq but could expand to Syria. He called ISIL a threat to Canadians: “It has specifically targeted Canada and Canadians urging supporters to attack quote disbelieving Canadians in any manner. Vowing that we should not feel secure even in our home. ISIL’s words are matched by its actions. In the territory ISIL has occupied, it has conducted a campaign of unspeakable atrocities against the most innocent of people. It has tortured and beheaded children it has raped and sold women into slavery, slaughtered minorities, captured prisoners and civilians whose only crime is being or thinking differently from ISIL.”
Members of the opposition each said that the prime minister has not made the case for war, often compared this mission to the U.S. led invasion of Iraq back in 2003. A war in which Canada did not participate. Both NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said the mission here could lead to another lengthy struggle.
Thomas Mulcair: “The tragedy in Iraq and Syria will not end with another invasion in that region. It will end by helping the people, in Iraq and Syria to build, the political institution and security capabilities, they need to oppose these threats themselves. Canada for our part should not rush into this war.”
Justin Trudeau: “There is a clear line between non-combat and combat roles. It is much easier to cross that line than to cross back. It is always easier to get into a war than to get out of one.”
And just to let you know, a recent Ipsos Reid poll says that 64% of Canadians support air strikes against ISIL by our military. The motion will be voted on this coming Monday.