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Monday, March 30, 2015

Canada in Syria: Correcting Minister Kenney's Comments

I posted last week - as many other news agencies posted, that the United States had pushed for Canada to join the air campaign in Syria because of our precision-guided munitions that our Arab allies do not have - this is false. Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been deploying precision-guided munitions in Syria against ISIS.

The comments made by Defence Minister Jason Kenney have been shown to be false, and members of DND have no idea why he made them. 

Over the weekend, DND released the following statement, now published on the DND/CF site:

"As stated by the Minister of National Defence, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s precision targeting capabilities make Canada a valuable partner in the fight against ISIL. The weapons that will be employed will be amongst the most advanced precision-guided munitions in the world. These weapons are equipped with laser and GPS guidance systems, giving Canada the ability to strike targets in all types of weather. Currently, only the United States uses these advanced precision-guided munitions in Syria.
Our highly trained pilots can use these advanced precision-guided munitions to strike targets either deliberately, or dynamically. Deliberate targeting occurs where targets are static, while dynamic targets can be identified while flying a mission, and could include, for instance, an ISIL military vehicle or weapon that is moving. This is a significant capability which, currently, only the US employs in Syria.
I applaud the contributions of all our allies in the coalition, and I agree with US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey’s assertion that our allies operate with skill and precision, and take extensive measures to minimize civilian casualties.
Canadians can be proud of the contribution that their Armed Forces bring to the coalition – both in terms of advanced weaponry, and our expertise deploying it. Our contributions make Canada a highly valued and respected ally in the coalition effort to defeat ISIL."
Statement by:
General Tom Lawson,
Chief of the Defence Staff