Canada launches its first anti-ISIS airstrikes in Syria

Canada sent two F-18 fighters to strike ISIS targets in Syria to expand its aerial campaign against the militant group beyond Iraq

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Canada conducted its first air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants on Wednesday, expanding its role in the U.S. coalition against the militant group in Syria.

Two F-18 fighters targeted former Syrian military buildings that had been taken over by ISIS near the northern city of Raqa, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported. The strikes were carried out with a group of 10 aircraft, including six U.S. planes.

The warplanes also used precision-guided munitions before safely returning to base, the Canadian military said.

Canadian strikes had been limited to Iraqi territory, but at the end of March Canadian lawmakers narrowly passed a measure to allow the country’s aircraft to target ISIS targets in Syria.

Opposition lawmakers argued Canada should not deepen its involvement in the long-running and complex war.

Canada first joined the anti-ISIS coalition in November and it has also deployed about 70 special forces troops to train Kurds to fight ISIS in northern Iraq.

Despite a sustained air campaign and ground advances in Iraq, the radical group still holds large swaths of territory straddling Syria and Iraq.

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