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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

UK special forces pictured in Syria's front line for first time

Iran Press TV

Tue Aug 9, 2016 12:45PM

British special forces have been pictured on the front line in Syria, the first photographic evidence of UK troops operating in the war-ravaged country.

The images, obtained by the BBC, show British special forces on the ground in Syria riding open-air Thalab patrol vehicles which are designed for harsh terrain.

Small numbers of UK troops have been operating in Syria in an array of capacities including surveillance, advisory and combat.

The BBC reported that the images, taken in June, appear to show British troops defending a militant base on the Syria-Iraq border which was under attack by Daesh terrorists.

Nine so-called moderate militants were killed in the attack on the southeastern al-Tanaf base.

The special forces were deployed in a defensive role but were equipped with an arsenal of weapons, including sniper rifles, machine guns and anti-tank missiles.

The UK parliament has approved a campaign of air strikes against Daesh in Syria but not ground troops.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy it blames on some regional and Western governments.

According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people since March 2011.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID), a British government institution responsible for administering foreign spending, estimates that about £5.1 million of British aid for Syria may have ended up in the hands of Daesh.

British authorities also say that at least 800 UK nationals have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the terror groups operating in those countries.

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