A fresh report claims members of the UK Special Air Service (SAS), an elite British army unit, are involved in hit-and-run raids against ISIL militants in Syria while dressed as insurgents themselves.
More than 120 members belonging to the elite regiment are currently in the war-torn country on operation Shader, tasked with destroying ISIL equipment and munitions which insurgents constantly move to avoid purported US-led airstrikes, the Sunday Express has revealed.
This comes just days after British Prime Minister David Cameron gave a “carte blanche” for the SAS and SBS, a special forces unit of the Naval Service of the United Kingdom to target ISIL ringleaders as part of the UK’s “broad spectrum” response to the murder of 30 British tourists by ‘ISIL gunman Seifeddine Rezgui’ in the Tunisian beach resort of Sousse in June, the report added.
Though the PM is being kept informed, ‘senior military sources’ told the paper that he would not be required to “green light” every mission.
Instead the teams, part of a force known as the “Coalition Joint Special Operations Task Force,” are under the US command, it went on to say.
Dubbed “smash” the units, which travel in civilian pickups, can even launch their own unmanned aerial vehicles, or mini-drones, to scan terrain ahead of them and pinpoint ISIL militants.
Using a US-developed program, the UAVs camera system can identify any known High Value Target, digitally transmitting the information as it happens to analysts on the ground.
They are being supported by more than 250 specialists, who provide additional communications support, the Express report said.
Operating in small groups, the units reveal their coordinates to Royal Air Force and US-led air forces and are assigned a “kill box” – an area which will not be attacked by air while they are operating there.
According to the report, last week, an additional 20 SAS soldiers flew into Saudi Arabia to prepare a training system in which the UK will instruct members of the so-called “Moderate Opposition” in Syria.
Syria has been grappling with deadly militancy since 2011, which has left a trail of deaths and destruction, while the so-called coalition against insurgents and terrorists has failed to eliminate the threat of various militant groups there.