Islamic State militants have shot down an Iraqi military helicopter using a rocket launcher, it has been reported.

The pilot and co-pilot of the Mi-35 aircraft were killed when the helicopter was brought down between the towns of Beiji and al Senniyah in northern Iraq.

The incident demonstrates the insurgents' capabilities to fight air operations by Iraqi authorities and the US-led coalition.

The US and the European allies have conducted dozens of airstrikes against Isis targets destroying oil refineries which have been a source of revenue for the militants group.

RAF Tornado fighter jets also conducted aerial raids over Iraq, after parliament backed action from the air.

Canada is now set to join the coalition against Isis following an announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

He confirmed that Canadian fighter jets would take part in the airstrikes for up to six months and a refuelling aircraft and two surveillance planes would also be involved in the air campaign. He added however, that Canada would not deploy ground troops.

Military planes carried out strikes on Isis targets north of Tuz Khurmatu, near Taza, on Friday (3 October) in which at least 16 jihadists were killed.

Meanwhile, Iraqi troops, Kurdish peshmerga forces and Shia militias have been pushing west from the city of Tuz Khurmatu since Thursday.