The British Special Air Service (SAS) is one of the most highly regarded military units in the world, with a reputation for being among the most elite and effective soldiers. T
he SAS is renowned for their legendary battlefield exploits, which have become the stuff of military lore. One of the hallmarks of the SAS is their fierce loyalty to one another, which has often been credited as a key factor in their success.
In 2005, this loyalty was put to the test when two SAS operators were captured in Iraq. What followed was a daring rescue mission that defied orders, and a display of bravery and determination that has become a part of SAS legend.
On September 19, 2005, two SAS operators named Campbell and Griffiths were conducting surveillance in Basra, Iraq, in support of Operation Hathor when they were stopped at an Iraqi police checkpoint.
A brief firefight ensued, and the SAS operators were forced to surrender.
They were beaten and taken to the Al Jameat police station where they were accused of murder and faced a punishment of execution.
This incident would set off a chain of events that would lead to a daring and unsanctioned rescue mission by the SAS to save their captured comrades.
The Unsanctioned Rescue Mission
When the SAS's Special Forces Support Group in Baghdad learned of the capture of Campbell and Griffiths, they immediately launched a rescue mission.
Outraged at the treatment of their comrades and the possibility of their execution, the SAS operators went in despite the risk of escalation of the situation.
The mission was unsanctioned and defied orders from the British government, but the SAS operators were determined to save their comrades at all costs.
They went to great lengths to gather intelligence and plan the rescue mission, utilizing Predator UAV and helicopter surveillance to support the SAS raid. Although they encountered resistance and hostility from local Iraqis, the SAS operators were undeterred and continued their mission to rescue their captured comrades.
In the end, the rescue mission was successful, and all SAS operators involved survived. The SAS's Special Forces Support Group in Baghdad had once again demonstrated their fierce loyalty and determination to save their fellow soldiers, even in the face of extreme danger and adversity.
After the rescue mission that defied orders, the British government initially denied any involvement in the operation. However, the operation was later sanctioned, citing suspicions of corruption and links to militia groups within the Iraqi police force.
The SAS operators involved in the mission were commended for their bravery and determination to rescue their comrades, but the mission also raised questions about the role of special forces and the government's authority in such situations.
The British government was criticized for its handling of the incident, and there were calls for greater transparency and accountability in future military operations.
The SAS operators involved in the rescue mission returned to their duties, but their actions would go down in history as a testament to the loyalty, courage, and determination of the SAS soldiers.