Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen HarperReuters

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is known for his hawkish views in regards to terrorism, said over the weekend that the “Islamic State” (IS or ISIS) group is a direct threat to Canada and the world, and therefore Canada will take part in the coalition against the group.

Harper noted that the fight against IS is a complicated challenge, as the group is a terrorist caliphate, which controls large areas and which slaughters hundreds of thousands of people.

He said the Canadian government will not hesitate to act in light of the security threat to Canada and Canadian interests.

This week the Canadian government is expected to discuss further steps against IS, in addition to the 69 military advisers Ottawa has already decided to send to help the Iraqi army and the Kurdish militia.

In 2011 participated, Canada took part in the military campaign that helped topple the Muammar Qaddafi regime in Libya, but the Canadian opposition parties strongly oppose military participation in Syria and Iraq.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird recently expressed Canada’s determination to act against the IS.

In an article published in The Globe and Mail newspaper, Baird said that IS poses a threat not only to Iraq, Syria and the region, but also for global security, and that the interest of the free world is to eliminate it.

Meanwhile on Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama said U.S. intelligence officials failed to appreciate the gains made by Islamic State extremists in Syria during the last few years of that country's civil war.

"I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," Obama said in an interview with CBS's 60 Minutes program.

"Over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swathes of the country that are completely ungoverned," the president said, Islamic State was "able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos.