A U.K. Special Air Service sniper killed several Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bombers from around 1 kilometer away, according to reports.
The unnamed marksman killed three ISIS militants by firing shots from a Barrett M82 .50 caliber rifle, and he was able to fire the shots though a 10-inch wall, the Telegraph reported. The marksman was serving as an adviser to Iraqi forces. The Barrett is considered among the world’s most deadly sniper rifles, which can destroy vehicles and parked aircraft, and it can penetrate brick walls and other defenses.
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Sources suggested the operation saved many lives in Ramadi, Iraq, the site of heavy fighting between ISIS and Iraqi forces.
According to the Telegraph, it’s the first time U.K. troops are known to have taken part in a direct attack against ISIS.
The Express reported that the shooter is considered one of the best special forces soldiers.
A source told the paper: “The SAS always like to think out of the box.
“The command post was well fortified. They considered an air strike but that would cause too much collateral damage.
“They looked at a rocket attack but there was the possibility that the blast might cause the building to collapse and intelligence suggested there were civilians being held in the lower storey and in buildings close by.
“A staff sergeant in charge of one of the SAS teams working with the Iraqis came up with the idea of shooting through the wall.
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“It was a case of ‘there’s nothing to lose.”
Intelligence discovered that bombers were in the building, and it was determined that it would be best to use a sniper rather than using air strikes or rockets.
Several dozen SAS troops are said to be advising Iraqi forces around Ramadi, including six officers led by a Royal Artiller major to coordinate airstrikes to support Iraqi forces.
A source added: “The armor-piercing rounds had a devastating effect. The bodies of the Islamic State fighters had been absolutely pulverized.
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“One had been decapitated and another had been cut in half. It was a real scene of carnage – but the tactic proved incredibly effective.
“‘The suicide attacks had been stopped and, without any command and control, the Isis fighters had retreated into another part of the city. It was a classic SAS operation.”