Malian gendarmes stand by a Canadian Air Force C-17 carrying French army equipment at the airport in Bamako January 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)
OTTAWA - Canada's mission to help transport troops and military equipment to Mali to fight Islamist forces there will carry on until Feb. 15.
"Our government has a strong record of supporting international efforts to combat terrorist activities," Defence Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement. "This Canadian military asset provides France an important strategic lift capacity that enables them to pursue a more stable and secure region."
Canada initially signed up to have a C-17 transport plane available to help France for one week, as the French lead a two-week-old international effort to strike back at Sharia-imposing forces that threaten to overrun Mali.
The Canadian help would have ended Thursday without the extension.