As It Happens

'This is combat': Mulcair calls on PM to clarify Canada's Iraq mission after sniper reports

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair wants the prime minister to explain how the shooting fits with Canada's supposed "advise and assist" mission.
A Canadian 3RCR Battlegroup sniper walks up a hill to his position during a long range reconnaissance mission near Kabul Afghanistan Wednesday Aug 27, 2003. (Stephen Thorne/Canadian Press)

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The shot is making headlines across Canada and around the world.

A Canadian Special Forces sniper trained the sites of his rifle on an Islamic State insurgent nearly three and a half kilometres away in Iraq. Then he fired.

It seriously calls into question [the] government's claim that Canadian Forces are not involved in direct combat in Iraq.- NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair 

The Commander of JTF2 says the target was an ISIS fighter, and his death makes this the longest kill shot ever recorded. 

But NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says the shot raises the question whether the government is sticking to its promise to keep Canadian troops out of combat against ISIS. 

"Will you now confirm that Canadian troops have engaged in ground combat since your government took office?" Mulcair wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

In an interview with As It Happens co-host Carol Off, Mulcair said: "Mr. Trudeau hasn't been transparent with Canadians about our role in Iraq.

"Mr. Trudeau said during the campaign to help win the election, that we would not be involved in a combat mission." 

For more on this story, listen to Thomas Mulcair's full interview with As It Happens.