In what has been hailed the ‘greatest ever long-range shot’, an SAS sniper has reportedly taken down an Islamic State commander from nearly a mile and a half away.
The shooter – a sergeant and veteran of the fighting in Iraq and Syria – hit the target in the chest after tracking him in Afghanistan. The ISIS boss – who is reported to be on the US and UK kill lists – was killed instantly by the one in a million shot.
The huge .50 Calibre machine gun used to killed the jihadi fighter is set to be disarmed and taken back to the SAS headquarters near Hereford as a memento of the takedown.
The Daily Star reports that the sniper was on a secret patrol in an ISIS stronghold area of northern Afghanistan in June.
The SAS team were sat biding their time and planning their next moves in armed vehicles when they spotted the commander.
Although they all had weapons to hand, the fighters all believed the only gun able to hit the target from such a long distance was the .50 Cal Browning mounted on one of the vehicles. When the senior officer granted permission to use it, the unnamed sniper took his chance and hit the target.
One source told the Star: “The .50 Cal has got a phenomenal range and is very accurate even though it is almost 40 years old.
“It can be fired on single shot. The sniper fitted a special sight to the machine gun and got a spotter to estimate the wind speed.
“He also took into account the heat of the day and the light. The image of his target was quite ‘watery’ because of the heat being given off from the ground.
“The Islamic State commander was briefing his men and clearly liked the sound of his own voice because he was standing still for a least 20 minutes while his fighters sat on the ground in front of him.
“The sniper knew he only had one chance. It took several seconds for the round to hit the commander who appeared to fly into several pieces.
“For a few seconds no-one moved. When they realised what had happened they got up and ran away.”
An additional source added that the killing of the IS commander is estimated to have saved the lives of more than 20 people.