April 12 (UPI) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that his country will not join the United States in conducting any future airstrikes on Syria.
In an interview with Radio-Canada, Trudeau pointed out that Canada is already conducting military operations in Latvia and Iraq and has plans to deploy to Mali.
“We are not looking to be present in Syria,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau’s statement comes after U.S. President Donald Trump warned of plans to increase air attacks on Syria after reports that Syrian President Bashar al Assad allegedly used chemical weapons on civilians.
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’,” Trump said in a tweet. “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
Although Trudeau said Canada is “not looking to be present” in Syria, the Canadian air force is already there as part of Operation IMPACT to assist a multi-country coalition led by the United States against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The Canadian government ceased conducting airstrikes in those two countries in March 2016. But on June 29, 2017, the country renewed its commitment to Operation IMPACT until March 31, 2019.