POLITICS

Top generals brief media on Canada's combat mission in Iraq

10/17/2014 01:24 EDT | Updated 12/17/2014 05:59 EST
Senior military officials are providing an update for the media Friday as preparations continue for Canada's combat mission to fight ISIS in Iraq.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson will be joined by Brig.-Gen. Michael Rouleau from the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (SOFCOM) and Lt.-Gen. Jon Vance, the head of Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC.)

The Harper government announced Oct. 3 that it would begin a six-month, 600 troop combat mission to Iraq to participate alongside its allies in an air bombing campaign designed to cripple the capacity of ISIS extremists currently running roughshod over parts of Iraq, as well as Syria.

Six CF-18 fighter jets, one CC-150 Polaris air-to-air refuelling aircraft and two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft are being deployed, along with the necessary air crews and support personnel. 

Canadian troops will be working out of a forward operating base in Kuwait. A reconnaissance team returned earlier this week from the region, and the first wave of troops left Wednesday from CFB Trenton.

The generals also are expected to provide more information about the ongoing role of Canadian special forces personnel currently advising Iraqi forces in their ground battle against ISIS extremists.