By Zachary Cohen
WASHINGTON — A Canadian special operations sniper successfully hit an ISIS fighter from a record-breaking distance of more than two miles away while assisting Iraqi forces in the push to retake Mosul, according to Canadian Special Operations Command.
The unnamed marksman was part of Canada’s elite Joint Task Force 2 special operations unit that is currently deployed in an “advise and assist” capacity to help Iraqi security forces battle ISIS from behind the front line in Mosul.
“The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of the Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target from 3,540 meters. For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners, we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place,” the unit said in a written statement.
Due to the distance of the shot, some voices in the military community expressed skepticism at the Canadian government’s report. The reported shot from 3,540 meters, or about 2.2 miles, would eclipse the previous sniper world record of 2,474 meters or 1.54 miles set by the United Kingdom’s Craig Harrison when he killed two Taliban insurgents in November 2009.
The Globe and Mail first reported the shot’s success and said it disrupted an ISIS attack on Iraqi forces, citing unnamed sources.
“The elite sniper was using a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle while firing from a high-rise during an operation that took place within the last month in Iraq. It took under 10 seconds to hit the target,” the paper said.
The Canadian military unit confirmed the distance of shot shortly after the Globe and Mail story was published, but the shot has yet to be formally confirmed a third party agency.
In 2016, the Canadian government announced it would triple its training efforts in northern Iraq despite pulling out of the US-led ISIS bombing campaign the year before.
In May, Iraqi forces began what they hope is the final push to crush ISIS in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.