The SAS are ready to launch “kill or capture” raids to stop British jihadis escaping jails in Syria.
The Special Air Service are on standby to target prisons in the north of the country holding members of ISIS.
Heavily-armed troops will deploy in teams of eight in helicopters or vehicles in the next few days if the threat of a mass prison breakout is imminent.
The move comes after intelligence chiefs warned the Government a “huge number” of very dangerous British ISIS fighters could be freed in the coming weeks.
The crisis has been caused by the Turkish invasion of northern Syria following the decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw all American forces from the region.
The move has led to fears that a new war could further destabilise the area and lead to conflict involving Turkey, ISIS and the Kurds.
- SAS may be forced out of Syria after Trump announces US withdrawal
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British spooks fear the Islamic radicals may escape if their Kurdish guards abandon prisons in the wake of an attack by the Turkish armed forces.
A source said: “British extremists are banged up in jails in northern Syria. The remnants of the Islamic State army is waiting to escape and either return to the fight or return to their home countries.
“The British special forces have been placed on standby.
“The SAS will either try to capture or kill British, European or foreign jihadis who pose a threat.”
Pressure is mounting to block Turkey’s offensive against the Kurds who accused the US of stabbing them in the back with their exit.
It comes after fierce fighting around the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain as Turkish forces attacked the area.
- British Army
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