Drones spot ISIS slayer ‘Jihadi John’ in Syria
Drones have managed to track the militant member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known as “Jihadi John” in Syria but British Special Forces fear a mission to either kill or capture the wanted man may end in failure, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.
“Jihadi John,” believed to be behind the beheadings of two British hostages, was spotted by reaper drones over Raqqa, the militant’s stronghold in eastern Syria, the daily reported.
Drones deployed over the group’s strongholds are also believed to have identified hostages wearing orange jumpsuits, the newspaper said.
Hostages beheaded by ISIS have all appeared in videos wearing orange jumpsuits resembling those worn by detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The paper said that despite the intelligence, British top brass have ruled out a rescue operation due to ISIS defenses being too strong.
The Defense Ministry has been advised that a sustained bombing campaign lasting several weeks would be preferable, the daily said.
The paper quoted a source as saying that imagery captured by the drones and satellites “is instructive but IS [ISIS] infrastructure in Raqqa would have to be targeted over a sustained period to make any sort of raid a realistic possibility.”
“On the basis of our current advice there is very little chance of Prime Minister [David Cameron] signing off a rescue bid. The prospect of success has got to be 100 percent or thereabouts, and at the moment it is nowhere near that. And for now there are not many other options on the table.”
“While sightings of Jihadi John are useful, as was establishing his identity, we are still a long way off getting a hit on him. Right now a raid would be suicidal.”