British IS fighters in Iraq on SAS 'kill list'

British IS fighters in Iraq on SAS 'kill list'
The UK's elite military unit is targeting British citizens who have joined the Islamic State group in Iraq, according to senior defence sources.
2 min read
07 November, 2016
British special forces reportedly have a hit list of IS fighters [Getty]

British special forces in Iraq have been ordered to "kill or capture" UK citizens who have joined the Islamic State group to stop them from carrying out attacks at home.

The army's Special Air Service (SAS) has a list of up to 200 British citizens fighting for the extremist group, according to sources speaking to the Sunday Times.

"A kill list has been drawn up containing the names of hundreds of very bad people," a senior defence source told the newspaper.

"A lot of them are from the UK. The hunt is now on for British Islamists who have effectively gone off-grid.

"This is a multinational special forces operation. The SAS have their own part of the plan, and they will be going after British nationals. This is a kill or capture mission, and it has already begun."

Captured fighters will be handed to the Iraqi security services where they could face a death penalty if found guilty at trial.

The source said they did not have exact figures of British citizens fighting in Iraq and could not confirm the identities of those involved.

"That's the challenge we face. There is a lot of international cooperation because it's regarded as a global problem," they added.

A contingent of UK military personnel, including engineers, trainers and soldiers, are in Iraq helping local forces in the major offensive against IS in Mosul.

British intelligence services have reportedly raised fears that if IS loses its Mosul stronghold, and with the launch of an operation to retake IS' de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria, "hardened, highly radicalised" British militants could return to the UK to carry out attacks at home.

The UK's Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the report, as SAS operations in the region are secret.