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Canada To End Air Strikes In Iraq, Syria

Canada will end air strikes targeting the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Iraq and Syria and pull out six fighter jets within two weeks, Canada's prime minister has announced.

Justin Trudeau said Canada would end its bombing mission by February 22 but military personnel in the region will increase to 830 from the current 650 and provide planning, targeting, and intelligence expertise.

Canada will also keep two surveillance planes and refueling aircraft in the region.

"In any mission, you need to make choices. We can't do everything," Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa n February 8.

He said air strikes alone cannot bring long-term stability for local communities.

The government has also pledged to provide $718 million in development and humanitarian aid over three years for the Mideast region.

Trudeau won an election in October promising to pull out six jets that have been bombing targets in Iraq and Syria.

The White House said President Barack Obama "welcomed Canada's current and new contributions to coalition efforts" in a telephone conversion with Trudeau on February 8.

The White House said they spoke about Canada's role in the international effort to combat IS.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

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