Mission Against Islamic State
WASHINGTON – As Canada sends six fighter jets and support crews and planes to the Middle East, the United States is thanking Canada for joining the fight against the Islamic State.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Canadian Defense Minister Rob Nicholson discussed a wide range of security issues of mutual concern during a meeting yesterday at the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas in Arequipa, Peru, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
In a statement summarizing the meeting, Kirby said the two leaders discussed the ongoing campaign in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as well as the security situations in Ukraine and the Asia-Pacific region.
“Secretary Hagel thanked Minister Nicholson for Canada’s newly expanded missions in support of coalition operations against ISIL in Iraq,” Kirby said, “and both leaders expressed concern about the growing threat of foreign fighters inside ISIL.”
Hagel and Nicholson also discussed regional security challenges in the Americas, including the threat to stability and security posed by climate change, the admiral said. Both agreed on the need for comprehensive and multinational approaches to environmental security, he added.
American Hostage – Family in Fear for His Life
When Islamic State militants executed American journalist Steven Sotloff last month, the parents of another hostage chose to go public about their missing son.
Ed Kassig, the father of hostage Abdul-Rahman Kassig says, “The dynamics have changed now. Steven’s family kept the secrecy and he was executed. Peter’s name has been listed.”
Peter Kassig, who is now known as Abdul-Rahman Kassig, went missing more than a year ago while working as an aid worker in Syria. He is now facing the same fate as Sotloff.
Kassig was threatened in a video issued by Islamic State that showed British aid worker Alan Henning’s beheading.
About two weeks ago, the Kassig family says they received an audio recording from their son, who said U.S. air strikes were jeopardizing his life.