The sniper's identity has not been revealed to the public, but he is a member of Joint Task Force 2, an elite branch of the Canadian military believed to be deployed in Iraq to train Iraqi security personnel.
"The shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh [Islamic State] attack on Iraqi security forces," a military source told the 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 away, the bad guys didn't have a clue what was happening."
"You have to adjust for him firing from a higher location downward and as the round drops you have to account for that," the source said. "And from that distance you actually have to account for the curvature of the Earth."
The shot was taken from 11,318.9 feet away, or about 2.14 miles. It flew for 10 seconds, and it was independently verified by a video camera and other data.
The previous record was set by Brit Craig Harrison in Afghanistan at 8,120.1 feet. Third and fourth place are held by a pair of Canadians: Rob Furlong (7,972.4 feet) and Arron Perry (7,578.7 feet), both in Afghanistan in 2002. Fifth place is an American sniper, Brian Kremer.
The achievement is not just of the shooter, but also of his partner, who spotted for him. Speaking to Fox News, former US Army Ranger sniper Ryan Cleckner said that the spotter "would have had to successfully calculate five factors: distance, wind, atmospheric conditions and the speed of the Earth's rotation at their latitude. Because wind speed and direction would vary over the two miles the bullet traveled, the true challenge here was being able to calculate the actual wind speed and direction all the way to the target."
"Canada has a world-class sniper system," the military source told the Globe and Mail. "It is not just a sniper. They work in pairs. … This is a skill set that only a very few people have."