POLITICS

Tom Lawson Talks ISIL Campaign With U.S. Officials At White House

10/14/2014 10:25 EDT | Updated 12/14/2014 05:59 EST
CP
OTTAWA - The country's top military commander says more information is expected this week about the unfolding campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Gen. Tom Lawson represented Canada at a White House meeting Tuesday where coalition partners discussed the mission against the terrorist network that has seized a vast swath of territory in Iraq and Syria.

"This meeting focused on the planning and implementation of coalition strategies to combat ISIL," Lawson said in a statement. "We look forward to providing further information on the planning of the mission later this week."

Canada's contribution to the U.S.-led campaign will include six CF-18 fighters, a Polaris aerial refueller and two Aurora surveillance aircraft.

Military advisers from Canada have also been assisting Iraqi forces in the battle against ISIL.

The Pentagon has been hosting two days of meetings where coalition countries are co-ordinating strategy.

Separately, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson met Sunday with U.S. counterpart Chuck Hagel on the sidelines of a defence conference in Lima, Peru.

Most of the meeting was taken up with discussion about ISIL, according to defence officials on both sides of the border.

In a statement, Nicholson said Canada remains "very concerned" with the group's growing presence throughout the Middle East, as well as the "direct threat" of terrorism at home and abroad.

A Pentagon spokesman, Rear Admiral John Kirby, says the two also discussed the increasing number of foreign fighters who are flocking to ISIL.

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