New mission against ISIL won't include sending troops to Syria: Sajjan

Published on June 16, 2017

OTTAWA — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is ruling out the deployment of Canadian troops into Syria as part of its new mission against ISIL.

Canada's current mission against the extremist group is set to expire at the end of the month, after being extended in March for an extra three months.

Sajjan says Canada will continue to be involved in the fight and that the Trudeau government is considering how the mission should change to better support Iraq and fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

But Sajjan is closing the door on Canada following the U.S. in deploying troops into Syria, where ISIL continues to pose a threat even as its presence in Iraq shrinks.

Canada's 200 special forces soldiers involved in the fight against ISIL are restricted to operating inside Iraq.

But Canada also has a surveillance plane and refuelling aircraft involved in the mission, both of which have conducted operations over Syria.

The Canadian Press