Special Forces snipers have launched a “secret war” on Islamic State jihadis hiding in mountain caves in Iraq, killing 100 fighters in an attempt to stop an IS resurgence in its tracks, according to standard.co.uk.
The SAS soldiers tracked the IS fighters – who include British people – to the mountains and then attacked with sniper rifles, artillery and precision airstrikes from RAF jets and unmanned drones, the Mail on Sunday reported.
There have been around ten battles in northern Iraq and other secret manoeuvres in Syria since April, the paper said.
Several British jihadis have reportedly been killed in the fighting, after escaping from prison camps and finding their way back to their military units. Islamic State maintains a network of caves and tunnels in Northern Iraq where the fighters took shelter to avoid capture.
The latest attack is said to have began on April 10 when British troops and British-trained Kurdish soldiers, forced the IS fighters into a building before RAF jets flew in from Cyprus, as well as a drone flown by controllers at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.
Since then there have reportedly been several battles in April, May and June with the RAF providing back-up firepower.
A defence source told the Mail on Sunday: “The regiment has been having a field day. It’s been hard soldiering in tough conditions, very hot and mountainous, and Islamic State fights to the death.
“Around 100 militants have been eliminated. There was a major battle every few days in May followed by some big clashes in June too.
“It is imperative that IS doesn’t get a foothold in the region again.”
“The RAF’s bombing has been very accurate with no civilian casualties and there have definitely been British jihadis among the deceased. They’ve been identified during the battle in communications intercepts and afterwards from ID cards and by DNA.
Defence minister Ben Wallace said: “The use of RAF jets and Reaper aircraft to deliver successful strikes against terrorists and their hideouts demonstrates that the UK’s defence never sleeps and we will always do what is necessary to protect our people.”
Islamic State lost control of Iraq in 2017 and Syria in 2018. But its fighters have reportedly been gathering together again, causing British and international coalition special forces to respond.