POLITICS

Canada Offers Millions To Nations Fighting ISIL

07/30/2015 08:34 EDT | Updated 07/30/2015 08:59 EDT

QUEBEC — Canada is prepared to give up to $8.3 million in additional funding to Iraq and neighbouring countries in the fight against Islamic State militants, Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson said Thursday.

The money will fund defence programs in Iraq and non-lethal military equipment purchases to countries in the region having trouble containing the flow of foreign fighters into their territory, he said in a statement after meeting members of the anti-ISIL coalition in Quebec City.

"We will not stand idly by while (ISIL) and its affiliates continue their murderous rampage in an attempt to wreak havoc across the region, spawn splinter cells from North Africa to South Asia and prey on youngsters in the West," he said.

High-level representatives from about 20 countries attended the closed-door international meeting, including Iraqi Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim al-Jafaari and retired U.S. general John Allen, U.S. President Barack Obama's envoy in the anti-ISIL coalition.

The coalition, of which Canada is part, has stepped up its campaign against ISIL with the involvement of Turkey.

Last week Turkey began striking targets in Syria and agreed to allow the United States to launch its own strikes from Turkey's strategically located Incirlik Air Base.

Canada has had a relatively limited role in the conflict since it joined the coalition a year ago.

The Canadian government says it has so far spent more than $940 million in military and humanitarian assistance in the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

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