Feds quiet on protecting 'assets' in Mali

About 25 members of 429 Transport Squadron at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, ON are to be flown aboard a C1-7 Globemaster aircraft to a French Air Force base near Istres, France and then to Mali to assist French troops with transport capacity, Tuesday morning, Jan. 15, 2013.



OTTAWA - The federal government says it will not confirm a CBC report that Canadian special forces soldiers are in Mali protecting Canadian "assets" there.

However, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the government has taken precautions.

"Steps have been taken to ensure our mission and Canadian personnel are protected," Rick Roth said in an e-mail. "We cannot comment on security specifics."

Canadian assets would include diplomatic personnel in the Malian capital, Bamako, and the military's C-17 transport jet carrying French troops and equipment to Mali.

Roth also repeats the Conservative government's position that "there will be no combat mission in Mali."

Canada's special forces include both the Special Operations Regiment, as well as Joint Task Force 2, which specializes in counter-terrorism.

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