In the final weeks of the Canadian Air Force’s CF-18’s mission in the fight against ISIS, the of the fleet’s jets struck a weapons cache of the terrorist group.

“On 10 February 2016, while taking part in coalition operations in support of Iraqi security forces, two CF-18 Hornets successfully struck an ISIL weapons cache in the vicinity of Al Habbaniyah using precision-guided munitions.”

On the same day, two CF-18 Hornets also attacked an ISIS fighting position north of Ramadi.

CAF airstrike map
CAF airstrike map

Air Task Force-Iraq (ATF-I) is part of Joint Task Force-Iraq (JTF-I). It is currently deployed as part of Operation IMPACT, which is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) support to the Middle East Stabilization Force (MESF) – the multinational coalition against ISIS.

Just two days earlier, two days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canadian CF-fighter jets will be winding down their airstrike mission against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria by February 22 and that Canadian forces will transition to a “training and assisting mission” in the region.

Trudeau’s announcement of the policy shift was met with strong criticism from the Conservative party.

However, at the NATO defence ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Thursday, U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter expressed gratitude for Canada’s decision to step up its training mission in Iraq. “He (Carter) thanked the minister for Canada’s announcement to triple their training mission in northern Iraq, double intelligence efforts, as well as expand humanitarian and development contributions,” a press release from the U.S. defence department said.

There have been several other CF-18 airstrikes against enemy targets since February 3.

On February 6, two CF-18 Hornets successfully struck ISIS heavy engineering equipment in the vicinity of Ramadi.

The day before that, the Canadian jets hit an ISIS staging area and weapons cache. Before that, two CF-18s struck at ISI fighting positions southeast of Mosul and another pair of CF-18 hit ISIS positions West of Fallujah.

On February 3, two CF-18 Hornets successfully struck an ISIS fighting position, an ISIL ammunition cache, and an ISIL vehicle in three separate airstrikes conducted south of Mosul.