POLITICS

ISIS fight: Canadian special forces returned fire 2 more times in last week

01/26/2015 12:00 EST | Updated 03/28/2015 05:59 EDT
Canadian special forces have now returned fire against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) three times, Capt. Paul Forget from Canadian Joint Operations Command said in Ottawa on Monday.

Last Monday, Brig.-Gen. Michael Rouleau, commander of the Canadian special operations forces command, said the forces came under "immediate and effective mortar fire" and responded with sniper fire, "neutralizing the mortar and the machine-gun position."​

"Two similar events have occurred over the last week and in both cases Canadian special operation forces, again acting in self-defence, effectively returned fire, neutralizing the threat," Forget said.

Asked whether having special forces involved in more firefights was the new norm, Forget said the role of Canadian troops was evolving but that they are conducting operations within their mandate.

"I don't think I would characterize that as the new norm, but rather as more of a — a bit of a state of evolution of our role in the advise and assist capacity," he said.

Forget said that Canadian troops have moved beyond teaching Iraqi forces "the basics of warfare."

"That has since evolved somewhat to the point where we're now able to get into a little bit more of a tactical battlefield ... type of atmosphere."

"As part of the evolution of the conflict ... that's happening in the area where our special operations forces are conducting the advise and assist role, they're conducting those operations within the mandate that was assigned to them," Forget said.

He said the special forces were acting in self-defence and there were no injuries to Canadian soldiers.