Chief of Defence Staff Says Airstrikes Not Enough to Defeat ISIS

Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Tom Lawson, has recently mentioned in his remarks that the airstrike campaign launched in Iraq, which Canada is preparing to soon join in, is not likely to completely eradicate the threat posed by ISIS forces. Gen. Lawson refrained from confirming whether or not Canada would participate in an anticipated mission to train Iraqi soldiers.

Providing a brief update on the status of Canada’s mission against ISIS, Gen. Tom Lawson confirmed that almost six CF-18s, one air refueller and two surveillance aircraft, along with almost 600 personnel, will all be in theatre before the end of November. Upon inquiry by reporters regarding Washington having had asked NATO partners to consider a training mission for the Iraqi Army, Gen. Tom Lawson was questioned about if Canada would consider participate in such operation. He replied that the idea was an “important part” of discussions held earlier this week with his counterparts from nations participating in the airstrike campaign.

Gen. Tom Lawson elucidated that the airstrikes are part of “the emergency response to blunt the attack” of ISIS in Iraq and stressed that more will likely have to be done. He stated that “simply bringing airstrike power to bear will not deal with (ISIS) properly,” adding that “and there’s broad recognition that it will be Iraqi forces who will be putting the pressure on (ISIS) components in the coming months and there is a requirement to bring them to a level of readiness to be able to do that.”

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