- SAS troops are expected to launch an operation to rescue Britons trapped in the Gaza Strip
Elite SAS troops are now on “standby” in Cyprus, waiting to rescue British hostages held by Hamas and Britons held captive in Gaza.
The British Army’s top soldiers are reportedly set to launch an operation to rescue British nationals stranded in the Middle East war zone.
This came as Israel launched a devastating attack on the Gaza Strip overnight. A senior political adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas would feel Israel’s “wrath” as warplanes launched airstrikes of “unprecedented” intensity.
According to the Foreign Office, around 200 Britons are stuck in the Gaza Strip after Israel and Egypt closed the borders to the Gaza Strip – five Britons are being held captive by Hamas terrorists.
With the military bases built on the island, Great Britain has a strategic presence in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Elite SAS troops are now on ‘standby’ in Cyprus, waiting to rescue British hostages held by Hamas and Britons held captive in Gaza (file photo)
The British Army’s top soldiers are reportedly expected to launch an operation to rescue British nationals stranded in the Middle East war zone (an SAS soldier pictured).
Smoke rises and billows over Gaza as the Israeli army carries out its most violent airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Friday evening
A crisis team with 100 soldiers has now been added to the SAS saber squadron stationed in Cyprus Sun Reports.
This comes after concerns from veteran SAS troops last week that a rescue mission could “end in disaster” due to the “disarray” in Gaza, with British SAS legend Chris Ryan telling MailOnline: “It will be an absolute nightmare.”
Ryan warned last week that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if British special forces prepared for the daring rescue operation.
He claimed the lead force could depart by helicopter from the British military base in nearby Cyprus or from one of two British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships stationed in the Mediterranean.
But the survivor of the infamous Bravo Two Zero mission from the Gulf War told MailOnline that such a rescue operation was fraught with danger.
“The SAS is probably the best in the world at rescuing hostages, but the situation in Gaza is unique when it comes to locating the hostages and finding a safe escape route,” he added.
“There is a lot of confusion about what is going on there.” It will be difficult to find the right fortress where hostages are being held – then you have to get to that place safely, find the hostage and then leave.
“From a planning perspective it will be an absolute nightmare.” It could end in disaster. ‘
The SAS team’s main aim will be to rescue the people of Gaza, but officers reportedly fear violence could spread and more Britons could become stranded in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and Lebanon.
Alongside the SAS in Cyprus in the Special Forces Support Group, which has a fleet of modified helicopters.
The Israeli army positions itself in southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip on Thursday, October 26th
Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes as Israeli attacks continue in Rafah, Gaza
A source told the Sun that they would “expect” the UK to use its permanent bases in Cyprus if there is a crisis of this nature in the region.
British defense and border guard forces have also been deployed to Egypt in the hope that the country could reduce border controls at the Rafah crossing in Gaza.
The Ministry of Defense “refused” to comment on the details of the special forces operations when approached by the Sun.
British special forces have reportedly only been deployed on three hostage rescue missions since 2011 – in Kenya, Nigeria and Yemen.
The SAS is reportedly working with Israel’s elite Sayeret Matkal force and the US Delta Force to gather intelligence that could lead to hostage rescue attempts.
Hostages have been held as human shields in tunnels, residential buildings and military bases to deter Israeli attacks, while a disturbing video emerged showing Hamas holding up children and toddlers after its deadly attack.