Paris attacks pose quandary for Canada's Trudeau

15th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

In power for just 10 days, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced the dilemma Sunday of whether to make good on a campaign pledge to halt air strikes against the Islamic State group.

The Paris terror attacks claimed by IS have changed things for Trudeau.

Trudeau, who was at the G-20 summit in Turkey on Sunday, now faces much tougher talk among the international community against IS.

And the Canadian opposition is firmly in support of the country's remaining within the US-led coalition attacking Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria.

At the G-20 meeting US President Barack Obama pledged to intensify the fight against IS in Syria.

The United States also said it was prepared to support France if it invokes Article V of the NATO charter, which states that if one member of the alliance is attacked this is seen as an attack against all of them. Canada is a NATO member.

Before he left for the G-20 Trudeau said: "We'll continue to engage with our allies around the world in ensuring the safety of Canadians and others both here at home and around the world."

His position has drawn criticism from the Conservative opposition, which sent Canadian planes to the region while in power before Trudeau.

"I want to be clear that our position remains that Canada should not withdraw the Royal Canadian Air Force and from the coalition currently fighting against ISIS," Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.

Shortly after winning election in mid-October, Trudeau told Obama that Canada would stop attacking IS targets in Iraq and Syria. But he did not give a timetable for the halt.

Canada has been bombing IS positions in Iraq since October 2014, and broadened the offensive to Syria in April under the Conservative government of Stephen Harper.

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© 2015 AFP

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