Canadian jets bomb more ISIS targets
Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets depart after refueling with a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron over Iraq, Oct. 30, 2014. (STAFF SGT. PERRY ASTON/U.S. Air Force/Handout via Reuters)
OTTAWA - A Canadian fighter jet struck an Islamic State (ISIS) artillery position Tuesday in its latest foray into the international mission to support Iraqi ground troops.
A series of coalition missions, that included Canadian forces, bombed the ISIS position in the town of Baiji, about 200 km north of Baghdad.
On Tuesday, a CF-18 Hornet hit a piece of ISIS artillery with a laser-guided bomb, Canada's defence department reported.
Roughly 600 Canadian Forces members have been participating in bombing campaigns over Iraq since Nov. 2.
The Canadian military operations are based in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
The coalition, which includes France, the U.K. and the U.S., is trying to take back Iraqi territory from ISIS.
Islamic State insurgents, also knows as ISIL or ISIS, seized much of northern Iraq five months ago in an offensive in which they took Baiji and surrounded an oil refinery, halting production, and besieging a detachment of government troops there.
Iraqi government forces are trying to reassert control over the area, and have retaken parts of the city centre.
However, a suicide bomber on Tuesday targeted a crowd gathering around soldiers in Baiji's centre, and killed six soldiers and two civilians, according to Baiji's mayor.
Coalition air strikes have slowed down the radical Sunni Muslim insurgents and enabled Iraqi security forces to make some gains.
Iraqi security forces have used helicopters to attack Islamic State fighters ringing the refinery.
Last week, coalition bombs targeted heavy construction equipment used by ISIS fighters to try to divert water from the Euphrates River to flood nearby communities. ISIS fighters were also trying to force coalition troops onto specific roads that were rigged with explosives.
Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said Tuesday's air strike "demonstrates Canada's firm resolve to tackle the threat of terrorism and stand with our allies against ISIL's atrocities against innocent women, children and men."
- with files from Reuters