Canada's Joining Anti-IS Campaign Could Put Local Expatriates at Risk: Journalist

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Canada's decision to join the US-led mission against the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Iraq may provoke already radicalized citizens and put Canadian expatriates in the region at risk, Paul Tadich, an independent journalist in Toronto, told RIA Novosti on Monday.

WASHINGTON, October 6 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova - Canada's decision to join the US-led mission against the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Iraq may provoke already radicalized citizens and put Canadian expatriates in the region at risk, Paul Tadich, an independent journalist in Toronto, told RIA Novosti on Monday.

"Canadians enjoy a reputation as being kind and tolerant so retaliation against us in home soil is unlikely… However, it is confirmed that some Canadian citizens have been radicalized and are fighting for ISIS [IS], and the country's entry into the conflict may inspire them to create havoc," Tadich said.

"As is the case with other western countries, many Canadian expatriates work in the Middle East and this action by the Harper government could put them at further risk of capture," he added.

On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced plans to send CF-18 fighter jets to battle Islamic extremists for up to six months.

Tadich stressed that in terms of the deployment of the jets, Canadian Air Force is only a fraction of the size of the US Air Forces, but their pilots have faced down the Taliban in Afghanistan and have proven their worth.

"It's a symbolic gesture in terms of the entire military commitment, but Stephen Harper is surely serious about his intended goal of commitment against ISIS [IS]," he asserted.

Tadich believes that Canadians are likely to conduct purely airborne mission to tackle the IS extremism.

"However, about 25 percent of voters are solidly left-wing and will oppose any of Stephen Harper's decisions. It is important to bear in mind that Canada steered clear of the Iraq invasion in 2003 so any attempt to put 'boots on the ground' would be a poor political decision," he explained.

In September, US President Barack Obama revealed a strategy to defeat the Islamic State, a Sunni extremist group seizing vast territories in both Iraq and Syria, proclaiming a caliphate on all of the captured territories. A US-led coalition created to fight the jihadists has started conducting airstrikes against the IS in Syria in addition to previously authorized attacks in Iraq back in August. However, not all countries that joined the IS in fight against extremism refrained from striking Syria.

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