At least five British Special Forces commandos have been wounded in a series of gun battles over the last several months as part of a top-secret UK military campaign in Yemen, according to the Daily Mail.
The elite Special Boat Service (SBS) troops, whose presence in the war-ravaged country is shrouded in secrecy, suffered gunshot injuries in fierce clashes with Iranian-backed rebel militia in recent months.
The SBS men were treated for leg and arm wounds following the battles in the Sa’dah area of northern Yemen, where up to 30 crack British troops are based. The casualties are understood to be now recovering in the UK. –Daily Mail
The UK’s involvement in the Saudi-Yemen conflict has shocked Brits, as the four-year war between US-backed Saudis and Iran-backed Yemen has triggered the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, while an estimated 10,000 people have been killed in battle. Some Yemeni reporters and regional humanitarian organizations have suggested the actual figure is closer to 70,000.
Also revealed by The Mail is that Royal Air Force (RAF) engineers sent to Saudi Arabia to repair the kingdom’s fleet of military aircraft were almost killed in a ‘suicide drone’ strike on the King Khalid air base, where Tornado jets used to bomb civilians in Yemen are housed. The drone reportedly exploded on the runway, destroying two Tornados, however the Ministry of Defense said no UK personnel were wounded.
In response to the revelations, former Minister Andrew Mitchell said last night the UK was ‘shamefully complicit’ in Saudi Arabia’s role in Yemen. He called on the Government to provide further explanations to Parliament about the role of the British troops. –Daily Mail
“The guys are fighting in inhospitable desert and mountainous terrain against highly committed and well-equipped Houthi rebels. The SBS’s role is mainly training and mentoring but on occasions they have found themselves in firefights and some British troops have been shot,” an SBS source told the Mail. “In a contact a few weeks ago, a SBS guy was shot in the hand and another guy was shot in the leg.