Prime Minister Harper is drawing parallels between the Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The militants have seized territory in Iraq and Syria, which Harper says is not unlike the Taliban in Afghanistan prior to the U-S-led invasion in 2002.
Harper says the Taliban used a large territory as a haven and as a training ground for terrorism not just in the region, but across the world. And that, says Harper, is a ``very big concern for all of us.''
Speaking in Whitehorse on Thursday, Harper said he's appalled by the violence carried out by the group known as I-SIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant).
He called the violence, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley, ``unspeakable barbarism.`` Harper said he agrees with U-S President Barack Obama and others that the actions of I-SIL cannot go unchecked.
Two Canadian military cargo planes will be transporting weapons to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq as part of the multi-national effort to fight the militants.
American Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel says U-S airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain their footing in Iraq. But he expects Islamic State militants will regroup and stage a new offensive.
Hagel briefed reporters this afternoon along with Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey.
Dempsey says Islamic State militants can't be permanently contained without going after the group in Syria. But he adds that doesn't mean the U-S is about to conduct airstrikes there.