An SAS marksman killed five Islamic State fighters (IS) with a single sniper shot from 3,000ft away, according to reports.
The highly-experienced special forces sniper is said to have used a Barrett .50 calibre rifle to shoot his jihadist target in the chest – exploding his suicide vest.
The bomb blast killed the target and four other IS fighters. Among the five dead was a top jihadist commander, reports the Daily Star on Sunday.
According to the paper, the shooting happened in Syria in November during a kill or capture mission against the terrorist group.
An SAS marksmen killed five Islamic State fighters with a single sniper shot from 3,000ft away (stock image), according to reports.
The highly-experienced special forces sniper is said to have used a Barrett .50 calibre rifle (pictured: Library image) to shoot his jihadist target in the chest – exploding his suicide vest
The bomb blast killed the target and four other IS fighters (Library image – does not contain anyone involved in the incident), reports the Daily Star on Sunday.
The SAS were monitoring what they believed to be a suspected bomb-making factory when the sniper, a sergeant with 20 years’ experience, saw the five leave.
After establishing he had a clean shot, the SAS team contacted radioed back to base to get the all clear to pull the trigger.
What is a Barrett .50 calibre rifle?
Designed by American gun-maker Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, the Barrett .50 calibre is a high-powered sniper rile.
The term Barrett .50 calibre typically refers to the Barrett M82A1 – or M107 as it is known in the US military.
The Royal Marines and the SAS are typically known to use the ‘Light’ version, known as the L82A1.
The .50 calibre sniper is primarily used against military equipment – such as tanks and vehicles – rather than against military personnel.
However some forces do utilise the Barrett .50 calibre as an anti-personnel sniper.
The ‘.50 calibre’ in the name comes from the fact it fires fifty calibre bullets – which have a diameter of around 0.510inches.
They can inflict serious damage on a target – including the loss of limbs.
The Barrett .50 calibre has an effective range of around 1,800 metres and has a unit cost of around £6,500.
Some versions can be fitted with a suppressor to limit the amount of noise when fired.
The sniper is used by various armed forces across the world, including the US, the UK, France and Germany.
A source told the Star on Sunday: ‘The plan at that stage was to drop the suicide bomber with the first shot and then the leader if they felt they could identify him.
‘But we got lucky. He waited for the target to drop but instead the guy exploded.’
The source added that the sniper had been given a baseball cap with ‘Long Range Death’ as a reward for his shot.
Though the shot came in from an impressive distance, it is far from the longest confirmed kill in military history.
That was recorded in 2017 by a Canadian sniper who is said to have shot an IS fighter from 11,319 feet away.
The bullet was fired from a McMillan TAC-50 rifle set on a high-rise tower and took 10 seconds to travel the 2.14 miles towards the fighter, who was attacking Iraqi soldiers.
This smashed the last record set by a Briton Craig Harrison, who killed a Taliban soldier with a 338 Lapua Magnum rifle at a range of 8,120 feet(1.54 miles) in 2009.
A military source told The Globe and Mail the kill was verified by video, adding: ‘This is an incredible feat. It is a world record that might never be equalled.’
The third longest kill was by Canadian Corporal Rob Furlong, who shot down an Afghan insurgent from 7,972 feet(1.51 miles) in 2002 during Operation Anaconda.
And prior to that, Master Corporal Arron Perry hit a terrorist from 7579 feet. He was also Canadian and serving in the same operation.
The longest kill from a US sniper was done by sergeant Bryan Kremer, who hit an Iraqi insurgent at 7,546 feet(1.42 miles) with his Barrett M82A1 rifle in 2004.
The latest kill from an SAS sniper comes after special forces sniper teams targeted British jihadis in fierce cave battles in the mountains of northern Iraq last year.
As reported by the Mail on Sunday in July, the attacks killed at least 100 fighters in a ‘secret war’ to crush an Islamic State resurgence.
Elite SAS troops have tracked IS killers, including British volunteers, to their hideouts in the remote highlands
In scenes similar to the hunt for Osama Bin Laden in the Tora Bora mountains of Afghanistan after 9/11, elite SAS troops tracked IS killers, including British volunteers, to their hideouts in the remote highlands.
They then took them out using sniper rifles, artillery rounds and precision airstrikes launched from RAF Typhoon jets and unmanned UK Reaper drones.
Defence sources confirmed in July that there have been at least ten battles in northern Iraq in the previous three months, with further secret operations in neighbouring Syria.
Several UK jihadis are understood to have been killed in the fighting, many of whom had escaped from desert prison camps and returned to their military units.