Record-breaking Canadian sniper shot should be 'celebrated', says Trudeau -

Record-breaking Canadian sniper shot should be ‘celebrated’, says Trudeau

Kill shot was ‘consistent’ with role Canada is expected to play in fight against so-called Islamic State, Trudeau says

(Cpl Jay Ekin/DND-MDN Canada)

(Cpl Jay Ekin/DND-MDN Canada)

OTTAWA – The record-breaking kill shot by a Canadian sniper in Iraq should be “celebrated,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday, even as he insisted Canada’s mission in the battle-racked country remains a non-combat one.

“What happened there is, first of all, something to be celebrated for the excellence of the Canadian Forces in their training, in the performance of their duties,” Trudeau told a news conference.

“But it’s also something to be understood as being entirely consistent with what Canada is expected – and Canadians expect our forces – to be doing as part of the coalition against Daesh.”

MORE: A ‘different level’ of military sniper

Daesh is another name for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

National Defence revealed last week that a member of Canada’s elite Joint Task Force 2 special forces unit was supporting Iraqi forces when he shot an ISIL fighter who was 3,540 metres away.

That is more than a kilometre farther than the previous record, held by a British sniper who shot a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan in 2009.

While news of the shot sparked both accolades and disbelief around the world, it also prompted NDP Leader Tom Mulcair to rekindle a long-standing debate about whether Canadian soldiers are involved in combat in Iraq.

The sniper was defending Iraqi and Kurdish forces when he took the shot, which is allowed and even expected as part of Canada’s “advise and assist” mission in Iraq, Trudeau said.

RELATED: Mulcair raises red flags after Canadian sniper breaks record in Iraq

“Defending our allies in the coalition has always been an integral part of our training and support mission to the local troops,” he said.

“This is completely in keeping with our responsibilities as Canadians, as members of the coalition in northern Iraq, and it will continue to be that way.”

The question of whether Canadian soldiers are in combat in Iraq has swirled since the previous Conservative government deployed the first troops to help fight ISIL in September 2014.

The Liberals promised a non-combat mission during the last federal election.

But while they withdrew the six CF-18s that were participating in the U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIL, they also tripled the number of Canadian special forces soldiers on the ground to 200.

That was despite assertions while in opposition that Canadian troops calling in airstrikes on ISIL targets and shooting in self-defence while operating near the front lines were indeed in combat.

RELATED: How long-range snipers do their job

Canadian troops in Iraq continue to conduct those types of activities.

The Liberal government is expected to announce in the coming days either an extension or changes to Canada’s current mission in Iraq, whose current mandate is set to expire on June 30.

Trudeau also said the government remains “committed to working with the UN” through the deployment of up to 600 peacekeepers, but that Canadians expect the Liberals to make “the right decision.”


Record-breaking Canadian sniper shot should be ‘celebrated’, says Trudeau

  1. Bit of a fool isn’t he?

  2. Of course it should be celebrated. It’s an amazing feat.

    • Just as I celebrate my telecom provider for dinging me with a popup survey while reading an article and not being able to cancel the popup without having to close my window?

      Yes, I have popups blocked but telecoms have it special. Kind of like contracting work to countries that use graft as part of it’s business practices and giving it’s workers ways of using back doors into consumer’s computers. Same with banks.

      Point is just because it may be ‘celebrated’ among the military and using the ‘feat’ as a way to recruit doesn’t mean Canadians won’t Bitch.

      • Amazing ….we didn’t bitch about the American ‘Mother of All Bombs’

  3. The problem in saying the boys aren’t in ‘combat’ – it means it affects their pay and benefits and when they make a claim at VAC, it can get turned down because of semantics. It might be politically beneficial to say, “Oh no, our guys aren’t in combat!” but as Murphy’s Laws of Combat Operations #1 says: ” If you’re low on everything except for incoming fire, you’re in a combat zone” so maybe give the boys their due and just call it for what it is.

    It’s amazing how the DND and VAC can treat trained warriors with such contempt and get away with it.

    • You’re right. When it comes to spending tax dollars some of the past governments have treated our military like something stuck to the bottom of their shoe. I heard when the Cons came in a little bit more money was given to the soldiers. Deservedly so.

      Celebrations like this one does nothing for public opinion. They need public opinion on their side don’t they? Or am I missing something?

  4. The shot would have been better if it were on paper and no life was taken.

    Western armies have occupied, undermined and oppressed eastern nations for 100 years.

    When will the terrorism end? History repeats itself until we learn the truth.

    Our propaganda has is believe that our lack of interest in injustice in other parts of the world has nothing to do with sovereign eastern oil reserves.