UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Canada has already increased its assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish security forces ahead of the pending battle to recapture Mosul from Daesh, but it will not reengage in airstrikes, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters.
"Canada actually has increased its engagement as training and special forces members on the ground in Northern Iraq," Trudeau said on Tuesday in response to a question whether his country would increase military support to Iraqi forces ahead of the battle to retake Mosul.
Asked if Canada would again participate in airstrikes against Daesh as it did before Trudeau took office in 2016, the prime minister firmly stated "No."
According to officials in Washington and Baghdad, preparations are underway for Iraqi forces to recapture the city in the coming months, with support from the US-led coalition.
Canada is a member of the 62-nation coalition and has provided significant capacity building support for Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga troops.
Until Trudeau altered Canada’s defense policy in February, the Royal Canadian Air Force was carrying out sorties against Daesh targets.