A sniper with Canada’s elite special forces unit, the Canadian military’s answer to Seal Team Six, has smashed the world record for the longest confirmed kill.
The unnamed soldier killed an Islamic State fighter from 3,540 metres away, the Canadian Armed Forces confirmed to VICE News — that’s about 2.2 miles. He took the shot from an apartment building somewhere in Iraq.
The kill puts Canada back on the top spot of the world’s best snipers, a position that Canada is no stranger to. As of today, Canada holds the first, third, and fourth spots for the longest distance confirmed kills by a sniper.
The incredible shot, first reported by the Globe & Mail, took place sometime in the last month. One military source told the paper that there isn’t much doubt about the significance of the shot. “This is an incredible feat. It is a world record that might never be equalled.”
The second-best recorded shot was by British sniper Craig Harrison, which clocked in at 2,475 metres — just over 1.5 miles.
The Canadian sniper didn’t do it alone, however — the sniper units work in pairs. One scoping the target, the other taking the shot. The Globe reported that the rifle used was a McMillan TAC-50.
Canada is in Iraq under an “advise and assist” mission, stationed in Erbil, aiding the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Northern Iraq. The mission has taken on a greater significance as of recent months, as coalition forces battle to regain Mosul from the Islamic State.
The training is being conducted by the Canadian Special Operations Regiment and the smaller, more elite, Joint Task Force 2 — one of the world’s best trained special forces units.
Beyond training, the Canadian forces have been known to engage IS targets in support of their Peshmerga allies.
“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,” a military source told the Globe.
A statement from the Canadian Armed Forces, sent to VICE News, reads that the Canadian soldiers “do not accompany leading combat elements, but enable the Iraqi security forces who are in a tough combat mission. “
The training mission was expanded by the Trudeau government after they ended the bombing mission against IS targets in Iraq and Syria.