Canada conducts first air strike in Syria

Wed Apr 8, 2015 6:45pm EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian armed forces conducted their first air strike in Syria since the government expanded the scope of its military mission against Islamic State last month, Canada's Defense Department said on Wednesday.

"This first air strike under the expanded mandate demonstrates our government's firm resolve to tackle the threat of terrorism against Canada and to promote international security and stability," Defense Minister Jason Kenney said in a statement.

Two Canadian CF-18s were involved in the air strike against an Islamic State garrison near Ar-Raqqah, Syria, the government said. Ten coalition aircraft were involved, including six from the United States.

In March, Canadian legislators voted to expand the mission by a year and to allow for the bombing of militants in Syria.

Canada has around 70 special forces troops in northern Iraq and six Canadian jets are taking part in U.S.-led bombing attacks against Islamic State in Iraq.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Toni Reinhold)