Ottawa – Canadian airstrikes should continue as part of an effort to defeat ISIS alongside our allies in the United Kingdom, the Official Opposition said today. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets in London with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Conservative defence critic James Bezan called on the government to stand with the UK and other countries who will continue air combat operations against ISIS. “At the same time as Prime Minister Trudeau visits one of Canada’s closest friends and strongest allies, British Prime Minster David Cameron is asking the UK Parliament to expand the mission against ISIS,” said Bezan. “Our allies are doing more, not less, to defeat ISIS. Meanwhile, even though Canadian CF-18s have been enormously successful in degrading ISIS on the ground, the Liberals continue to pledge an end to the role of the RCAF fighter jets in Operation IMPACT. “The government has not yet provided a single coherent reason for ending Canada’s air combat mission against ISIS, which makes even less sense today following the recent attacks in Paris, Beirut and Egypt,” Bezan said. “We have been calling on the government to reconsider its position on withdrawing Canada’s CF-18s and to demonstrate Canada’s steadfast support for our allies in the international mission to defeat ISIS.” Bezan pointed out that Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) have struck strategic targets and provided key assistance to our allies. Their contributions have been effective in assisting the international coalition. CF-18 fighter jets have bombed ISIS fighting positions, weapon caches, training facilities, IED factories, critical infrastructure, and command centres. They have also provided air support to Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga as they battle ISIS on the ground. RCAF pilots and crew have also conducted reconnaissance missions collecting vital intelligence on the movements of ISIS. “Canadians can be proud of our military efforts through Operation IMPACT,” said Bezan. “Yet ISIS still poses a clear and active threat to the people of the Middle East, specifically targeting vulnerable religious and ethnic minority groups. They have demonstrated their ability to carry out attacks around the world and have repeatedly called on its members to target Canadians at home and abroad. At a time when our allies are strengthening their resolve to defeat this terrorist group, we must stand side-by-side with our partners. Canada must remain a contributing member of the international coalition’s air bombing campaign.”