Canadian veterans join Kurdish battle against ISIS

Canada has worked to support the Syrian citizens since their uprising in early 2011. Canada has been actively calling on the international community to collaborate and defend the rights of the Syrian people. Examples include helping those living as refugees in neighboring countries, supporting Syrian civil society, and countering the threat posed by chemical weapons.

What happened with this event/agreement?

The Islamic State has been able to attract various foreigners, but now some Canadian veterans are joining Kurdish fighters in an attempt to fight back the extremist group in Iraq and Syria.

How did Canada get involved in this event/agreement?

The United States sent Prime Minister Stephen Harper a letter asking for more help in the fight against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. Harper responded by saying Canada is "weighing our response", and that the government of Canada will make a decision very shortly. Harper stated that they have to have some additional debate within their government before they reach a decision. Harper also said that he would not rule out further military action in the region. Harper then addressed the UN Security Council and Harper appeared before the United Nations Security Council, where he reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to protecting itself from radicalized westerners.

What were Canada’s interests in this event/agreement?

Canada's interest is limiting its role to the efforts to eradicate ISIS in Iraq, while the U.S. is fighting in Syria with five other Arab countries. Stephen Harper stated that the international air strikes have been successful, but acknowledged that they alone will not stop ISIS. Canada is joining the U.S. and many other countries to together combat the Islamic State.

Why was this significant for Canada’s foreign policy?

The Canadian government officially added the Islamic State (ISIS) to its list of terrorist entities under the Criminal Code in September 2014. Canada also agreed to tighten passport controls on foreign fighters traveling to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS, and Canada has become a lot more cautious about security. It has been noted that 80 individuals have returned to Canada after receiving terrorist training abroad, and are now under surveillance by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

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Political Significance

The decision of the Canadian government to join the battle against ISIS has caused many turning points for the country, as well as the world. Canada's choice to join the fight against ISIS has aroused the ire of the Islamic State, and this entails Canada's officially joining the battle. An audio recording released by the Islamic State implores supporters to kill Americans,Europeans, and now Canadians, whenever they have a chance.“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State… kill him in any manner or way, however it may be,”.

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