In a covert operation spanning from 2011 till present, Britain’s elite special forces infiltrated the shadows of 19 nations, including Nigeria, Russia, Syria, Ukraine, and the depths of Sudan’s treacherous terrain.
In a startling revelation, the charity Action against Armed Violence (AOAV) has unveiled a clandestine world of British special forces. The report claims that the revered Special Air Service (SAS) and other covert units have covertly operated at numerous undisclosed locations. Astonishingly, these covert operations have remained shrouded in secrecy, concealed from both the British government and the military.
According to AOAV, their meticulous research spans from 2011 to the present day, unearthing a disconcerting truth. These elite units, upon receiving directives from the British Prime Minister and Defense Secretary, have continuously been dispatched to perilous regions across the globe, even in countries devoid of any official military conflicts with London.
AOAV reveals that British special forces made their presence felt in Syria as early as 2012, aligning themselves with rebel factions battling against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Their involvement escalated further when they actively participated in the 2013 British air campaign.
These revelations expose a clandestine world of courage and danger, hidden from public view, as these fearless warriors navigate the shadows of global conflict.
British special forces have encountered casualties during their operations in Syria, resulting in the loss of several SAS members. According to leaked Pentagon documents reported by The Guardian, it was revealed that as of early this year, the United Kingdom had deployed 50 special forces troops in Ukraine, despite repeated assertions from London denying involvement in the conflict.
The AOAV (Action on Armed Violence) report further highlights that while the UK government is aware of the activities of its special operations units abroad, there is a lack of oversight. In accordance with the law, British lawmakers are required to vote in favor of London’s engagement in a war before deploying UK special forces. However, the British Prime Minister retains the authority to deploy these forces without the need for parliamentary approval.
In June 2015, following a tragic incident in which terrorists killed 38 individuals, including 30 Britons, at a beachfront hotel in Tunisia, it was reported that former British Prime Minister David Cameron granted the SAS “full authority” to apprehend or eliminate leaders of Islamic terrorist organizations in the Middle East.
Iain Overton, the Executive Director of AOAV, expressed serious concerns about the lack of transparency and democratic oversight regarding the extensive deployment of British Special Forces in numerous countries over the past decade. The absence of congressional approval and sufficient scrutiny for these missions is deeply troubling.
In March 2023, a public investigation was initiated into allegations that the SAS was responsible for 54 civilian deaths in Afghanistan during 2010 and 2011, often occurring during nighttime raids. Afghan individuals were reportedly separated from their families and killed on the spot, purportedly due to their involvement in insurgent activities or support for the insurgency.
Overall, these incidents and issues have raised significant questions about the transparency, accountability, and adherence to democratic processes in relation to British special forces operations abroad.
Formerly a Tory MP and presently serving as Britain’s defense secretary, Ben Wallace lauded the commendable military endeavor underway. However, the British Ministry of Defense acknowledged the involvement of the paratrooper regiment, the marines, and the British air force in the operation, while omitting any mention of special forces.
British special forces frequently engage in hostage rescue missions, exemplified by an incident in 2012 when a group of naval commandos (SBS) attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to rescue a British and Italian national detained by a Muslim group in Nigeria. Another instance took place in 2019 when they successfully rescued a British couple held captive in the Philippines.
The sole instances where media mentioned the deployment of British special forces in Russia since 2014 were when SAS members were present to ensure the security of British athletes during the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Moreover, the United Kingdom has deployed its special forces to numerous other countries including Algeria, Estonia, France, Oman, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Cyprus, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.
As of now, the UK Ministry of Defense has refrained from providing any commentary on the AOAV report.