The Islamic State terrorist known as Jihadi John has been tracked by drones flying over the Syrian city of Raqqa – but British Special Forces chiefs fear a 'kill or capture' mission there would end in bloody failure, sources disclosed last night.
Reaper drones deployed high above the terrorists' strongholds are also believed to have identified hostages wearing orange jumpsuits but top brass are thought to have currently ruled out a rescue operation because IS defences are too strong.
Special Forces bosses have advised the Ministry of Defence that a sustained bombing campaign lasting several weeks would be preferable.
A source said: 'The imagery from the drones and satellites is instructive but IS 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 the Prime Minister signing off a rescue bid. The prospect of success has got to be 100 per cent or thereabouts, and at the moment it is nowhere near that. And for now there are not many other options on the table.