Six Canadian fighter jets left CFB Cold Lake, Alta., today to join the fight against against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The CF-18 Hornets will travel to Kuwait, which will serve as the home base for launching airstrikes over Iraq.

Rob Nicholson, minister of national defence, said that if ISIS (also known as ISIL) remains unchecked, the group will keep growing and destabilize the Middle East. He said the group could inspire other extremists who would threaten Canada.

Rob Nicholson

National Defence Minister Rob Nicholson addressed both the CF-18 deployment and the death of a soldier after a hit and run in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. in his news conference at CFB Cold Lake. (CBC )

​"Our government has a duty to protect Canadians and to stand firm with our allies in opposition to the unspeakable atrocities being carried out by ISIL," he said. 

"No operational deployment is easy, but our men and women in uniform are trained and equipped to the highest standard. I am confident they are ready to take on the complexities and challenges presented by this mission."

Canada is also providing two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft and one CC-150 Polaris air-to-air refuelling plane for the U.S.-led coalition.

Those planes are being deployed from CFB Greenwood in Nova Scotia and CFB Trenton in Ontario, respectively.

The federal government has said Canada’s combat contribution will not involve any ground troops.