Canada's ISIS fight extends beyond Fallujah
A CF-18 in Kuwait.
Canada is dropping bombs on ISIS targets in Iraq — but how many has been a bit of a mystery.
A military brief obtained by the Toronto Sun and confirmed by Department of National Defence sources shows that as of 3 p.m. Thursday, Canada’s Royal Canadian Air Force is involved beyond the first mission targeting sites in Fallujah.
Since Oct. 28, Canada has six CF-18 Hornet fighters, in Kuwait, as well as a CC-150 Polaris tanker and two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft being supported by almost 600 military personnel on the ground.
The brief states: “As of 1500 (Eastern Standard Time) Air Task Force-Iraq conducted 28 sorties; CF-188 Hornet fighters conducted 18 sorties; CC-150T Polaris aerial refueller conducted five sorties, delivering some 260,000 pounds of fuel to coalition aircraft; and CP-140 Aurora aircraft conducted five reconnaissance missions.”
Operation Impact is starting to have some impact.
Defence Minister Rob Nicholson would not comment directly on the numbers and said the focus is on the overall mission and the outcome.
“There will be continuous air strikes and our fighter jets will drop bombs on enemy targets,” Nicholson said Thursday.
Nicholson said he is not trying to be vague but in light of the kind of risk Canadians could be facing both here and around the world, security is a concern.
The reality is the country is at war with ISIS and the military is engaged.
“This is a monstrous group,” Nicholson said. “They are involved in unrepentant terror that is horrifying.”
With Canada’s coalition partners, he said, they must deal with this threat.
“It is our responsibilty to do so,” he said.
Update on Operation IMPACT, the Canadian Armed Forces contribution to the coalition against the ISIL.
• Since September, the coalition has conducted hundreds of airstrikes to degrade and defeat ISIL.
• As of October 28th, all of our air assets arrived in theatre: six CF-18 Hornet fighters, one CC-150 Polaris tanker and two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft and about 600 personnel supporting air operations.
• On October 30th, all of our aircraft commenced air operations over Iraqi airspace.
• On November 2nd, CF-18 Hornets conducted Canada’s first combat airstrike on ISIL targets. The four enemy targets were located near a dam, west of Fallujah and consisted of heavy engineering vehicles such as bulldozers and a dump truck.
• These vehicles have been used to build ISIL’s defensive positions, and to rebuild the dam. The dam has been used to cause extensive flooding in the Anbar province and as a way to apply pressure on Iraqi authorities.
• Our forces worked with the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre and coalition targeting assets during the approximate four-hour flight. 500-pound laser-guided bombs destroyed and damaged the vehicles identified and removed them from further employment.
• As the coalition has said from the beginning, air strikes alone will not defeat ISIL. We are supporting the Iraqi security forces in collaboration with our coalition partners, through airstrikes and training, as they lead the fight in Iraq. Canada is resolved to help bring peace and stability to the region.