Members of the Canadian House of Commons have voted in favour of sending Canadian forces to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rebel group in Iraq.

The motion was pushed by Conservatives and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Tuesday and clears the way for Canada to send CF-18 fighter jets to embark on airstrikes in Iraq.

The vote in the House of Commons passed 157 to 134.

Combat missions do not ordinarily require approval by the House but Harper promised to put any combat missions, including air strikes up to a debate and vote.

Harper said Canada would not deploy ground troops against the rebel group. He has also said Canadian jets would not strike targets in Syria until it had the full support of the government in Damascus.

The United States has been bombing ISIL and other groups in Syria for two weeks with the help of Arab allies, and hitting targets in Iraq since August.

European countries have joined the campaign in Iraq but not in Syria.

In 2003, Canada's then Liberal government refused to take part in the US invasion of Iraq.

Source: Reuters