A Canadian soldier has broken the world record for the longest sniper kill in history, taking out an Islamic State militant from over two miles away.
The sniper, who serves as a gun specialist in the elite Joint Task Force 2 operation in Iraq, achieved the feat by shooting an assailant from a high rise building over a distance of 3,450 meters, approximately 2.14 miles. It took around 10 seconds to reach its target and was later verified by both video footage.
“The shot in question actually disrupted an Islamic State attack on Iraqi security forces,” an anonymous military source told the Canadian Globe and Mail. “Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didn’t have a clue what was happening.”
British sniper Craig Harrison previously held the world record, acquired when, in 2009, he killed two Taliban insurgents with a 338 Lapua Magnum rifle from a range of 2,475 meters. Before him, the record was also held by a Canadian, Corporal Rob Furlong, who in 2002 successfully neutralized a target from 2,430 meters using a McMillan Tac-50.
“Hard data on this. It isn’t an opinion. It isn’t an approximation. There is a second location with eyes on with all the right equipment to capture exactly what the shot was,” another military source said, who also spoke under anonymity due to the classified nature of Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) operations.
JTF2 remains an elite special operations force of the Canadian Armed Forces, who primarily focus on counterterrorism, sniper operations, and personnel recovery. Due to the classified nature of their work, the Canadian government rarely comments on their operations.
Canadian forces have been present in Iraq since 2014 as part of the war against ISIS. They are mainly tasked with training the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently ordering the number of special forces involved in training missions from 69 to 207.
Although more focused on America, ISIS has previously called for attacks in Canada, with a number of terrorist incidents taking place in recent years. In October 2014, Martin Couture-Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau drove a car into civilians and killed a soldier at the Canadian National War Memorial after they were prevented from traveling to Syria to join ISIS.