Two female soldiers who travelled from Britain to fight ISIS in Iraq survived a deadly shoot-out when terror chiefs closed in on discovering their identities.
The pair - who are working alongside the SAS as officers in the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) - were travelling with locally recruited spies when they were pulled over at an Islamic State checkpoint near the Syrian border.
When their inquisitors' suspicions grew, the women claim to have become embroiled in a gun fight, leaving several extremists dead before escaping with their vehicle almost completely destroyed.
A defence source told the Daily Star: 'These women are probably the most deadly in the armed forces. 'They are extremely fit, intelligent and very professional.
They handled themselves really well and have proved to be just as good as the men in every respect. 'They were really up for the fight once they were compromised.'
The two women - both in their mid-20s - have been in the war-torn region for months, putting their lives at serious risk drafting local women to help with their intelligence led operations. Earlier this month they were travelling to meet a potential recruit as part of an SAS convoy when ISIS fighters stopped them in their tracks.
Seconds from being exposed, the women, armed with pistols and submachine guns, began shooting their way out of trouble, leaving a number of their attackers dead. Both escaped unharmed but their car was left peppered in bullet holes.
Since arriving in the country, the intelligence the women have received has helped British, US and French forces target the terror network's leaders in air strikes by drones and jets. The defence source added: 'They sometimes get a hard time from their male colleagues and the banter can get a bit fruity but there is a great deal of mutual respect and they give as good as they get.'
The SRR was formed in 2005. It recruits men and women from all three armed services with only the toughest making it through a gruelling six month recruitment process. Its members have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, and have worked closely with MI5 working on counter-terror operations in the UK.