Posted September 09, 2018 09:03:51 A new Canadian military plan is designed to use Canadian air power to wage war on the Islamic State (ISIS) group in Iraq and Syria, and it comes amid growing concerns over Canada’s ability to deliver on the military commitment made to the coalition in Afghanistan.
The Defence Department has outlined its plans, known as the Joint Operations Concept, to conduct air strikes, artillery fire and special operations in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East.
A key element of the plan is to use the CF-18s and other air assets to attack ISIS positions in Iraq.
The Canadian Forces have been operating the CF18s since the early 1990s, and the new air war will require the military to adapt to a different set of air threats, including those coming from the Islamic States.
“We have the ability to fight and win in a much more dynamic environment and environment of increased air power,” said Col. Chris Nicholson, the commander of the Canadian Forces’ Canadian Joint Operations Group (CJOG), a unit tasked with air operations against ISIS.
Nicholson said the new campaign will involve multiple aircraft carriers, fighter jets, drones, bombers and special operators.
The Joint Operations Forces will also be involved in targeting enemy facilities, including munitions dumps and training facilities.
Nicholson also said Canadian forces will be responsible for “defeating” the Islamic group’s command and control infrastructure.
“Inherent in the Joint Operating Concept is the idea that you have to defeat ISIL in the field,” Nicholson said.
“This will be a new kind of operation where you are actually doing it in the air.”
The Joint Forces Command said the campaign will be “long, complex, challenging, and challenging” and that it will involve “many months of air operations in a relatively short time period.”
The CF-2018 fleet of four CF-188 fighters will be tasked with conducting raids on ISIS oil refineries in Syria, where the militants are holding thousands of people hostage.
The military will also deploy CF-20s and C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft to Syria and Iraq, to deliver supplies to the Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq.
Nicholson praised the Joint Operational Command for working closely with other Canadian forces and with the United States, and said the mission will be the first time a military operation is being launched from the skies of a NATO member state.
Nicholson noted that Canada has a long history of working with other NATO nations to fight the terror group, and he praised the work of Canada’s own military forces.
The C-130J Hercules, a multirole transport aircraft that has been used to transport U.S. troops to the front lines in Iraq for over a decade, will be used to carry equipment and supplies to Syria, Nicholson said, adding that the aircraft is “a symbol of commitment and a symbol of partnership between the United Nations and our allies.”
Nicholson said that the military’s mission is “to be a force for peace and stability and stability in the Middle Eastern region, and that includes the Islamic world, and this will be an operation of the highest order.”
“We are going to be doing everything we can to be able to assist the coalition against ISIL,” Nicholson told reporters.
Nicholson told a joint news conference with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Canada would not hesitate to deploy additional CF-21 fighter jets to the fight.
“There will be no hesitation in any way whatsoever,” he said.
Nicholson added that the Canadian military would also be able “to provide support to the United Kingdom in any time of need.”
Nicholson’s announcement comes as the U.K. is under pressure from U.N. officials to send troops to help defeat ISIS in Syria.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is scheduled to meet with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Brussels on Thursday and is expected to announce a new $3 billion fund for the military.
The U.KS. is also reportedly considering a new U.n.
Security Council resolution that would authorize a U.s. attack on ISIS, but that effort is not expected to be voted on before the end of the year.