10/03/2014 02:43 EDT | Updated 12/03/2014 05:59 EST

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard Backs Iraq Combat Mission

QUEBEC - Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says he approves of a military combat mission by Canada in the Middle East.

Couillard, who is the father of a soldier, expressed his support shortly before Prime Minister Stephen Harper laid out his case in Parliament today for Canadian participation in air strikes in Iraq.

Harper also said there would be no ground combat role although Canada has already contributed special forces advisers to the war against the militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Couillard says Canada must live up to its obligations and called ISIL a movement that has drawn international condemnation.

He said the group represents a significant threat to the western world, including Canada.

Couillard added it would be naive for Quebec to think it would be immune from the threat posed by the group because of the province's history of pacifism.

The premier, who worked in Saudi Arabia as a doctor in the 1990s, expressed concern about the actions of the Islamic state and its allies.

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