Canada launches first air strikes against ISIL in Iraq

Published November 3rd, 2014 - 01:10 GMT

Canada has conducted its first air strike mission in Iraq, as part of the attacks carried out by the US-led coalition against ISIL militants operating in the country.

Canadian Defence Minister Rob Nicholson made the announcement in a statement on Sunday.

Two Canadian CF-18 jetfighters reportedly dropped laser-guided bombs in the vicinity of Fallujah, west of the capital, Baghdad.

The minister also said in his statement that the military will release no further information about the mission until Tuesday.

Sources say Canada’s first attempt to carry out strikes had been postponed last Thursday as a result of bad weather.

The anti-ISIL bombing campaign led by Washington began on August 8 in Iraq; and in late September, the US and its Arab allies began conducting air strikes against ISIL positions inside Syria as well, without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

The ISIL militants have seized large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, terrorizing and killing people of all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians, in the areas they are controlling.

The recent violence is seen as a spillover of militancy from Syria.

The air strikes by Western powers against ISIL militants operating inside Iraq come despite the fact that militants fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria are enjoying the support of the US and its allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.

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