Sniper 'kills Isil suicide bombers from a kilometre'
Marksman said to have fired 30 rounds into a two-storey Iraqi command post decimating a wall and killing the Islamic State fighters
Published 04/01/2016 | 12:50
An SAS sniper killed three Islamic State suicide bombers by firing shots from the world's most powerful rifle through a 10inch wall, according to reports.
The marksman, said to have been serving as an adviser to Iraqi forces, fired 30 rounds from a Barrett M82 .50 calibre anti-materiel rifle into a two-storey command post in the city of Ramadi in Iraq.
Military sources have suggested that the operation saved many lives.
It would be the first time that British troops are known to have taken part in a direct ground attack against Isil.
When it was discovered that the bombers were in the building, several options were considered, including an air strike and a rocket launch, but both were deemed too dangerous to civilians, it has been claimed.
Instead, the sniper based himself in another building around 1,000m away and fired into the command post, almost completely destroying one of its walls.
A squadron of the elite British troops has been assigned to battling Isil in Syria and Iraq. They have spent more than a decade working closely with their American counterparts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and targeting and intelligence gathering is often worked on jointly.
Several dozen are said to be advising Iraqi forces around Ramadi, including six officers led by a Royal Artillery major who co-ordinate western air attacks in support of Iraqi ground troops.
The cell reportedly successfully destroyed a fully-loaded Isis suicide truck bomb on Boxing Day and has co-ordinated other air attacks in recent weeks.
The Barrett rifle is regarded as the world's most deadly sniper rifle.
The magazine holds up to ten rounds, which can destroy vehicles, light armour and parked aircraft. It can also penetrate brick walls and other solid defences used for cover at a range of up to 1,800 metres.
It can also be used to clear mines and other hidden explosives.