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Canadian planes bomb Islamic State checkpoint in Iraq

A Canadian Forces CF-18 fighter jet arrives at the Canadian Air Task Force Flight Operations Area in Kuwait on Oct. 28, 2014.

Reuters

Canadian warplanes bombed an Islamic State militants' checkpoint in northern Iraq this week, the federal government says.

James Bezan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence, told the House of Commons on Thursday that CF-18s struck their target Wednesday.

"Our CF-18s dropped one 500-pound bomb on an ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] vehicle checkpoint about 250 kilometres to the southwest of Mosul," Mr. Bezan said.

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Canadian fighters joined a U.S.-led air campaign in late October which seeks to stop Islamic State forces from gaining ground and open up room for ground attacks by Iraq soldiers.

Canada's previous air strikes against militants in Iraq include a bunker, a warehouse used to make explosives near Mosul, a piece of artillery near Beiji and construction equipment Ottawa said was being used to divert water from the Euphrates River.

U.S. warplanes have been pounding Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria for months. Targets have included training camps, machine-gun firing positions, bunkers, ammunition caches, armoured vehicles and tanks.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he is open to expanding the combat mission to bombing Islamic State militants in Syria, but only if these strikes are not interpreted as Canada going to war against the Syrian government.

Canadian fighters are based in Kuwait as are two Royal Canadian Air Force surveillance planes and a refuelling aircraft.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More

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