In Mali, West Africa, a 250 regiment of British soldiers, parts of a 16,000-strong UN force, saw some of its fighters enrolled in a battle against two ISIS warriors. The troops are in charge of protecting civilians by deterring and disrupting Mali’s numerous terror groups.
The war-torn region is plagued by attacks by ISIS in the Greater Sahara as fanatics have overrun Malian army camps.
Members of the Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG) told The Sun they can’t believe no one was harmed during the fight.
On October 20, just after 9 am, the troops identified two armed men on a motorbike.
Lt Ed Dillon, 24, the troop commander, said: “They tried to escape on their motorbike but crashed and ran off into a wooded block.”
As part of the UN force, the British soldiers were allowed to question the gunmen to see whether they were members of one of Mali’s dozen or so legal militias, but they did not have the time to do it, since the two ISIS soldiers ran away to hide in the bushes.
As some members of the regimen went on foot to chase them, their enemies started shooting using a heavy machine gun and an assault rifle.
“To my left and my right I could see rounds splashing into the ground, inches away,” L/Cpl Kevin Gething, 36, told The Sun.
“I probably moved faster than I ever have in my life,” he added.
One bullet slammed into the door of Trooper Kris Hoff’s Jackal armoured vehicle, leaving a dent in the bulletproof plating.
The 21-year-old said: “I thought ‘f**king hell’. What if it was a few feet higher or a few feet lower.”
“I could see the grass shaking and smoke rising from their muzzles,” recalls Sgt Adam Humphreys, 30.
“I couldn’t see the terrorists. I could just see their two firing positions. It was a very hairy situation.”
“How they did not get shot, I do not know.”
Cpt Lewis gave the order to open fire with the GPMG machine guns but the terrorists kept firing back.
Cpt Lewis said: “I couldn’t believe it. Their PKM was still going. That was when I thought the GMG needed to be fired. It was Sgt Humphreys’ suggestion. You always listen to your troop sergeant.”
Soldiers then blasted the terrorists with 27 high explosive grenades.
Sgt Humpreys said: “You knew it was over after that. You could see bushes getting blown over and set on fire.”
By the end of the battle, the Brits had fired 614 bullets.
Major Bryn Williams, C Squadron’s commander, praised the “exceptional bravery” of his soldiers.
He said: “I am amazed at how brilliant those troops were.”
This Battle of Devil Dune in Mali, West Africa, was the first time UK soldiers have fired shots in anger since the end of combat operations in Afghanistan in 2014.