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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

CBC Exclusive: CF-18 commander describes 'having to take lives' in ISIS bombing mission

Originally Published on CBC News: Exclusive Interview

In a wide-ranging interview with CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge, a CF-18 commander who flew airstrike missions against ISIS in Iraq and Syria provides a detailed account about being in that arena, some of his bombing missions, and "having to take lives."

"What we're doing is a very very unnatural thing for us. We're going out there and we're destroying, we're destroying things sometimes, sometimes we're having to take lives," said Lt.-Col. David Moar.

"It's an unnatural — it's important that we communicate about that, we talk about that as a unit and that we're firm in our resolve about what we're doing."

During the interview, Moar, the CF-18 detachment commander, reviews video of some of those airstrikes, including one attack against an artillery piece that had been "harassing the Iraqi Security Forces."

"They just hooked it up to a vehicle and started moving it down a road and at that point we elected to destroy it," Moar said.

"And there's no doubt here that somebody died, because somebody was driving that vehicle," Mansbridge said.

Moar said, "One thing I have noticed that you can never, until you see the full picture afterwards, you can never really know what is happening under that smoke."

"And are you around long enough to know?" asked Mansbridge

"It's our responsibility to stick around long enough to know," Moar said.