Mulcair raises red flags after Canadian sniper breaks record in Iraq

first_imgOTTAWA – NDP leader Tom Mulcair is forgoing the celebration and raising red flags following reports that a Canadian sniper in Iraq shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill.In a letter Friday to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mulcair says the incident “seriously calls into question your government’s claim that Canadian forces are not involved in direct combat in Iraq.”National Defence says the sniper is part of the Joint Task Force 2 special forces unit and was supporting Iraqi forces in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant when he shot an enemy fighter from 3,540 metres away.That is more than a kilometre farther than the previous record, held by a British sniper who shot a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan in 2009.Officials have refused to provide any other details about the incident, including where and when it occurred, citing operational security. But they maintain that the soldier was operating within the established limits of Canada’s so-called “advise and assist” mission in Iraq.Those limits, however, have been repeatedly questioned over the course of the nearly four-year mission, with much of the debate revolving around whether Canadian soldiers are engaged in combat.While news of the shot has spread like wildfire, prompting accolades and even disbelief from current and former military personnel around the world, Mulcair demanded Trudeau provide answers about the mission in Iraq.“Will you now confirm that Canadian troops have engaged in ground combat since your government took office?” he wrote.“Why have you not declared that the current military operation is now a combat mission? Why has there been no debate in the House of Commons regarding this change of mission?”Opposition parties have repeatedly accused the Liberals of misleading the public about the nature of Canada’s mission in Iraq by claiming that Canadian troops are not in combat.That includes revelations three years ago that Canadian troops were calling in airstrikes on ISIL targets, and last November when it was revealed they could shoot in situations other than self-defence.But National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier stood on Friday by past assertions that Canadian soldiers are not engaged in combat in Iraq, despite the record-breaking shot.“Members of the Canadian Special Operations Task Force do not accompany leading combat elements, but enable the Iraqi security forces who are in a tough combat mission,” he said.“This takes the form of advice in planning for their operations and assistance to defeat (ISIL) through the use of coalition resources.”The latest controversy comes as the clock ticks down on the current mission in Iraq, whose mandate is set to expire next week.The Liberals have said Canada will maintain a presence in Iraq and the fight against ISIL, though officials say no decision has been made on whether to extend the current mission or change it.Canada has about 200 special forces operating in northern Iraq, including inside Mosul, supported by a combat hospital, a helicopter detachment, a military surveillance plane and an air-to-air refuelling aircraft.last_img read more

Read more

Stars Roll Up To UNICEF UK Halloween Ball

first_imgUNICEF UK Ambassadors Jemima Goldsmith and Michael Sheen led the terror-ific turn out alongside guests Rita Ora, Poppy Delevingne and Hugh Grant at Unicef UK’s annual Halloween Ball on Thursday, raising vital funds to help protect Syria’s children in danger.Michael Sheen at UNICEF Halloween BallCredit/Copyright: UNICEF UKThe event raised an incredible £1.6 million, made possible by the UK Government matching all public donations pound for pound on the night.Rita Ora at UNICEF Halloween BallCredit/Copyright: UNICEF UKHigh-profile personalities from the worlds of entertainment, fashion and business arrived at London’s iconic venue, One Mayfair, for the freaky circus themed party that included live circus acts and spooky immersive theatre.Hugh Grant at UNICEF Halloween BallCredit/Copyright: UNICEF UKSinger Jessie Ware kicked off the entertainment with a breath-taking performance followed by an electrifying show by artist, Rita Ora. Producer and DJ Mark Ronson kept the party going with a DJ set until the small hours as guests danced the night away.Long-standing Unicef UK Ambassador Jemima Goldsmith said, “We’ve all been shocked by the recent heart-breaking images of children’s bodies washed up on beaches and children suffocating in trucks as families desperately try to seek safety in Europe. But it’s not enough to be shocked, we must take action. Unicef is one of the few organisations working inside Syria as well as delivering life-saving humanitarian aid for refugee children across the region. Their work remains desperately underfunded. At the Halloween Ball tonight we’re thrilled to help raise vital funds to support Unicef’s work for Syrian children whose lives have been devastated by the conflict.”The money raised at the Halloween Ball will help Unicef, the world’s leading children’s organisation, provide clean water, vaccinations, school supplies, warm winter clothes, psychosocial care and child protection for Syrian children whose lives have been turned upside down by the conflict.Until the end of January 2016, the UK Government will match pound for pound all donations made to Unicef’s work for the children of Syria.International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “The Syria conflict is robbing a generation of its childhood. There are nearly six million children inside Syria in desperate need of help and children make up half of the four million refugees forced to flee their homes. Many have known nothing but war.“Unicef is working to reach these children in danger and to ensure they get the clean water, medical care, protection and warm clothes they need as another winter closes in. For the third year in a row we are matching pound for pound all donations to Unicef’s Syria winter appeal, to ensure that this public support goes twice as far.”Unicef UK Executive Director, David Bull said: “Right now there are there are now nearly 14 million children in Syria and the surrounding countries affected by the conflict. Every day they face danger of exploitation, violence and abuse and as winter looms, many are sleeping in the open air and are at risk from pneumonia and hypothermia. The need to protect these children has never been greater. We are thankful for the overwhelming support and generosity that our guests have shown at the Halloween Ball and to the UK Government for matching pound for pound all donations made on the night and until the end of January 2016. We rely entirely on voluntary donations so the money raised is vital to enable Unicef teams to continue working round the clock to protect Syrian children in danger.”You can help keep Syria’s children safe. Please visit www.unicef.org.uk/halloweenball to donate.last_img read more

Read more

Police save two year old from locked car

first_imgCar window lockedCar window locked The Police helped in saving a two year old boy from a locked car in Rabat early this morning.A spokesperson for the Police confirmed with Newsbook.com.mt that at around 7:45am, the Rapid Intervention Unit (RIU) was called to aid in the incident at Triq Musat Azzopardi in Rabat. The reason the child was locked inside has not been yet confirmed.The RIU used Res-Q-Me equipment which allows officers to break windows and glass of locked houses and cars. In extreme cases such as this one, this equipment could help save a life.Read: “I cried through everything but I did it”WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Read more