Special Forces Briton killed in Syria
A BRITISH Special Forces soldier has been killed in a bomb blast in northern Syria on a mission against Islamic State.
The elite soldier, who has not been named, was embedded with US forces in a secret operation when he was killed just before midnight on Thursday.
He is thought to be the first British soldier to have died in Syria or Iraq on a combat mission against the terror group.
A US soldier was also killed in the roadside bomb blast, while five others were wounded in the town of Manbij near the Turkish border, sources told the Mail.
Last night an MoD spokesman said: ‘It is with regret that we must confirm that a member of the UK Armed Forces was killed by an improvised explosive device in Syria yesterday.
‘The individual was embedded with US forces on a counter-Daesh operation when the incident occurred. The family has been notified and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.’
Mohammed Abu Abel, head of the Manbij Military Council – an Arab-Kurdish group backed by the US – said a bomb went off just a few hundred metres from a security headquarters.
There are hundreds of British soldiers on a training mission against the barbaric militant group in Iraq. But the British government has never revealed any details about Special Forces operating secretly in Syria. Despite this, senior Whitehall sources have told how the elite soldiers have been hunting jihadists in Islamic State’s former de-facto capital of Raqqa. It is understood one of their roles has been to find senior IS commanders, and British citizens who have joined up.
Earlier this year, the Mail revealed that a British IS fighter plotting attacks on this country had been killed in Syria in a secret UK mission. Naweed Hussain was found by British personnel and killed by a US drone on RAF orders.
The MoD would not confirm last night that the British victim was an elite soldier, as it does not comment on Special Forces. US military spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon said he could not yet say who was behind the attack, adding: ‘There is an investigation under way to identify who they could possibly be. We have our initial assessment .. but we won’t provide that until the investigation is complete.’