In their place, Ottawa will triple the number of special forces training Kurdish militia in Northern Iraq to about 210, while a handful of surveillance and refueling aircraft will continue to play roles in the US-led coalition, Defense Minister Hargit Sajjan yesterday told a joint news conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and senior officials.

As well, the Canadian government will provide about Can$1 billion (USD 718 million) in development and humanitarian aid over three years for the Mideast region, officials said.

Trudeau had pledged during legislative elections last year to end the airstrikes.

"We know Canada is stronger, much stronger, than the threat posed by a murderous gang of thugs who are terrorizing some of the most vulnerable people on Earth," Trudeau said yesterday.

Some two-thirds of Canadians polled, however, support the bombing mission or want it to be expanded.

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