Spe­cial Forces Bri­ton killed in Syria

Daily Mail - - News - By Larisa Brown De­fence and Se­cu­rity Edi­tor

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.’

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