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In this Sept. 1, 2014 file photo, Shiite militiamen hold the flag of the Islamic State group they captured, during an operation outside Amirli, about 170 kilometres north of Baghdad.

Associated Press

A C-17 military transport filled with supplies for Canada's new combat mission in Iraq departed Canadian Forces Base Trenton Wednesday.

Canada is slowly assembling a camp in Kuwait that will serve as the base of operations for an aerial campaign against Islamic State militants.

Advance teams have been heading to what's being called "Camp Canada" over the last week and another group of 85 are leaving Thursday, also from CFB Trenton, the country's main military transport hub.

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Canada is sending six CF-18 fighters, two surveillance aircraft – sometimes called spy planes – as well as one air refuelling aircraft. In all, about 600 Canadian Armed Forces personnel will be based at Camp Canada to support and maintain the air mission, which the Harper government says will last at least six months.

The government says Canada will be in a position to begin airstrikes against Islamic State forces at some point within the last seven days of October.

It's one of two deployments in what the military is calling Operation Impact – the other being nearly 70 special forces soldiers who are in northern Iraq offering military advice to local forces including Kurds who are battling the Islamic State jihadists.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was in Kuwait Wednesday where he discussed the threat of Islamic State extremists during meetings with that country's emir, or ruler, and other government officials.

He said he's grateful to Kuwait for allowing Canada to base its military operations there since joining coalition airstrikes against the IS organization. The Islamic State "has directly threatened both Canada and Kuwait. We are working together to meet this challenge face on," Mr. Baird said in a statement on Wednesday.

Both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which Mr. Baird is expected to visit later this week, have joined the coalition now battling IS militants.

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