Western Troops in First Ground Battle Against ISIS

Troops Were Engaged in 'Planning' Iraqi Offensives

Canadian Brigadier General Michael Rouleau has confirmed Canadian ground troops were involved in the first battle by members of the US-led coalition against ISIS forces.

Details on the clash are still vague, but Canadian troops were said to have been “planning” an Iraqi offensive, and went to the front lines to see the terrain first-hand. That was when they came under fire.

It’s not the first time troops have come under fire, as the Pentagon has confirmed several times when US troops in Anbar Province have come under “indirect fire.” This is the first time, however, that coalition troops confirmed firing back.

Gen. Rouleau insisted no Canadian troops were injured in the exchange, and that Canadian snipers killed the ISIS fighters.

The clash could prove to be the first shots fired in the ever-escalating war, as it moves inexorably into the ground war phase. That the Canadian troops, who like US forces were supposed to be merely advisers, wandered heedlessly to the front-lines and eagerly got in a shootout with ISIS reflects how quickly the coalition could escalate things.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.