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Canada launches first airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq

November 03, 2014, 5:43 UTC+3 OTTAWA
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OTTAWA, November 3. /TASS/. Canada’s Air Force launched the first airstrikes against the targets of the Islamic State in Iraq, the country’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

“Coordinated with our coalition partners, two CF-18s attacked ISIL targets with GBU12 500 lb laser guided bombs,” the statement said.

The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sent a total of six F-18 fighter jets, two CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft and one Airbus CC-150 Polaris air-to-air refueling tanker to combat the IS.

Some 600 Canadian troops are stationed in a base in Kuwait to support the air mission.

Harper earlier said the Canadian aviation will bomb the IS targets on the territory of Iraq. He stressed that the troops will not participate in a possible ground operation.

Early last month, Canada's lawmakers voted to join the international coalition fighting against the Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in Iraq.

The Islamic State, which has been fighting against the government in Syria since 2012, launched an offensive in Iraq in June, seizing vast areas in both countries and proclaiming a new “caliphate.”

The US and its allies have recently launched airstrikes against the fighters in both Syria and Iraq. Russia insists that fighting against terrorism should be conducted on a solid basis of international law under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council.

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