Canada to launch airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq

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Canada plans to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq following a U.S. request.

A senior government official says Prime Minister Stephen Harper will announce details later Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the plans.

The deployment still needs to be voted on in Parliament but Harper's Conservative government has the majority of seats so it is expected to pass.

Canada is among dozens of countries that have signed up to the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria.

Canada's former Liberal government refused a request to send troops when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, straining ties between the two neighbors. Canada then stepped up its Afghanistan mission.