October 29, 2014 8:20 pm
Updated: October 29, 2014 9:30 pm

Canadian jets join anti-ISIS campaign in Kuwait


WATCH: Canada’s military operation against ISIS begins this weekend, as CF-18s begin flying sorties over Iraq. The jets and crews will be based in Kuwait, a pivotal Gulf state in Western military strategy for years. But there are question about how active Kuwait has been in funding terrorism. Mike Armstrong reports.

KUWAIT CITY – Canadian warplanes have taken up position in Kuwait, a country straining to hold back the tide of Islamic extremism from its borders.

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The CF-18 jetfighters and CP-140 Aurora surveillance planes are expected to join a U.S.-led coaltion’s bombing campaign against ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, within days.

The country’s top military commander, General Tom Lawson, publicly laid out the timeline for launching strikes a few weeks ago.

But outside the tightly buttoned down airfields, there is angst about what is shaping up to be the third war in the region in two decades.

With Islamic State fighters on the outskirts of Baghdad, about 600 kilometres away, much of the debate in the tiny country is about how much of a security threat is posed by the extremist movement, and also whether it is a long-term political danger.

George Irani, an international studies professor at the American University of Kuwait, says ISIS doesn’t have the military strength to conquer all of Iraq, let alone threaten Kuwait.

Even still, just days ago Kuwaiti security forces broke up a suspected ISIS cell in the country.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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