ISIS mission: Canadian advance team leaves for Kuwait next week

About 120 members of the Canadian Armed Forces will depart from Trenton, Ont., next week to join the fight against ISIS in Iraq, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson announced on Saturday.
Canadian CF-18s, like the one pictured, will take part in airstrikes in the Middle East after MPs voted last Tuesday to launch a combat mission to help fight ISIS. Prime Minister Stephen Harper Harper stressed Canadian troops would not be involved in ground combat. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

About 120 members of the Canadian Armed Forces will depart from Trenton, Ont., next week to join the fight against ISIS in Iraq, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson announced on Saturday.

Nicholson said the team will be preparing for the arrival of CF-18 fighter jets and other aircraft in the coalition campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"The deployment of the Theatre Activation Team is a key step in arranging the initial preparations for the CAF units that will deploy in support of Operation IMPACT. Responsible for initiating the infrastructure support required in-theatre, this team plays an important role in support of our mission," the minister said in a statement.

"The government continues to work with our allies to degrade the ISIL terrorist threat at home and abroad" he said.

Six CF-18 fighter-bombers, two CP-140 surveillance planes, one aerial tanker aircraft and 600 personnel have been tapped to join U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq for up to six months. The mission will be based in Kuwait.

Canada has more than two dozen special forces advisers already in Iraq and has plans for up to 69 advisers as part of an effort to advise Kurdish forces against Islamic militants.

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