POLITICS

John Kerry Lauds Canada's Decision To Join Iraq Mission

10/08/2014 04:06 EDT | Updated 10/08/2014 04:59 EDT

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry thanked Canada Wednesday for agreeing to join in airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Kerry took to Twitter to express his appreciation a day after a controversial motion to join the war in Iraq passed in House of Commons by a vote of 157-134.

Kerry also responded to a tweet from Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, saying the world is proud of Canada's example.

The White House released a statement Tuesday saying the United States welcomes Canada's deployment of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft in the campaign, as well as humanitarian aid and troops to advise Iraqi Security Forces.

"With these deployments, Canada demonstrates its continued leadership and resolve in addressing the urgent and critical security challenges that threaten Canada, its people, and the broader international community," the statement read. "Canadians and Americans have fought alongside each other in several major conflicts over the past century, and we are grateful for Canada’s further contribution against terrorism."

Bruce Heyman, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, also lauded Canada's decision.

Earlier this week, former U.S. secretary of state and presumed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said the United States would appreciate any Canadian contribution to the fight against ISIL.

Clinton, who was in Ottawa to speak at a Canada 2020 think tank event, did not explicity call for Canada to join the airstrikes but did say military action against ISIL was "essential."

Liberals and New Democrats opposed the motion Tuesday, arguing Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not provide enough information about the six-month mission and failed to make the case for war.

Veteran Liberal MP and human rights advocate Irwin Cotler abstained from the vote. He said in a statement that while he recognizes the need to protect the innocent, not enough information was given to MPs to allow them to make an informed choice.

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