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