Canada won’t be offering any military support for a potential U.S.-led strike on Syria, and it hasn't been asked either.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said at the G20 meeting in Russia that Canada will only be offering the U.S. political and moral support for a strike on the Syrian regime, reports The Globe and Mail.
“It’s not something that’s been requested of us, it’s not something that has been asked,” he said, adding that U.S. President Barack Obama hasn’t shared the type of military response he has in mind and that Canada most likely won’t have the “capacity” to assist.
"Obviously we have politically supported the Obama administration in this regard and I think this is a strong moral stand.”
The Conservative government has shown support for Obama’s quest for strike authorization and believes the Syrian regime must be held accountable for its alleged use of chemical weapons, but Canada won't follow the U.K.'s lead and hold Parliamentary debates on offering military support because it’s not considering it as an option, according to Baird.
Although no polls have been conducted to gauge Canadian opinion on military intervention, fatigue from involvement in Afghanistan and a few anti-Syrian-intervention protests suggest Canadians are not eager to get involved.
The only attack from Canada so far has been Baird lambasting Russian President Vladimir Putin for support of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Russia's UN Security Council veto against any Western military intervention. More recently, Putin has said he “doesn’t exclude” supporting a UN resolution on strikes.
“I think the Russian position – they’ve picked a lane in this battle years ago and I just don’t foresee it changing,” Baird said, according to CBC.
“This is the great issue we’re tackling: Russia’s intractability to work with others on this issue. That, in some respects, is the heart of the problem.”
But Julia Kulik, a researcher at the University of Toronto's G8 Research Group, told the Huffington Post the meeting in St. Petersburg won’t yield a resolution to the crisis.
“I think it's more likely that you'll see them come out and say they condemn the use of chemical weapons and support a diplomatic resolution,” she said.
"But I think it's very unlikely that you're going to see them, out of this summit, say 'okay, now we're going to push forth a large-scale humanitarian intervention.'"
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