CF-18s conduct third Syrian strike mission against ISIL in hotly contested area

Two Canadian fighter-bombers have carried out the country’s third airstrike against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria.

OTTAWA — Two Canadian fighter-bombers have carried out the country’s third airstrike against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria.

Defence Minister Jason Kenney says the mission took place Tuesday near the eastern city of Al Hasakah, a hotly contested area where forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad recently made minor gains.

The official news agency in Kuwait reported earlier this week that Syrian regular army troops had recaptured a youth prison and a village south of the embattled community after fierce fighting with extremists.

The agency, quoting the independent Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said as many as 20 Syrian soldiers and pro-government militia were killed in the lead-up to the capture.

Kenney says the Canadian jets used a precision-guided bomb to destroy an Islamic State compound.

It has been weeks since the Canadian military has held an operations briefing — or answered any questions about the war.

The last time was in the aftermath of a report into the friendly-fire death of a special forces soldier, Sgt. Andrew Doiron, which found his shooting by Kurdish fighters to be a tragic case of mistaken identity.

Kenney’s statement also revealed that the air force carried out a separate strike Wednesday in the vicinity of the strategically important oil town of Bayji, north of Baghdad, in Iraq.

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