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UKSF Wounded In ISIS Ambush

06.02.2016

3 members of United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) have been wounded in action during a secret mission in Iraq, a newspaper has reported.[1]

According to The Mirror, the Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Service (SBS) troops were operating as part of a 25-man Coalition Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) that included British, American and German elements. They were reportedly on a patrol close to the city of Mosul, in Northern Iraq. About 10 miles south of Mosul's airport, the CJSOTF's convoy of pickup trucks were ambushed by ISIS fighters. The ISIS force included troops mounted on captured Iraqi Army Humvees, fitted with heavy machine guns. They also engaged the allied convoy with rocket propelled grenades (RPGs).

A firefight then erupted as the allied troops debussed from their lightly-protected vehicles and returned fire at their ambushers. It was during this firefight that 3 UKSF men were injured by shrapnel from an RPG. A German team took out one of the ISIS vehicles with a Javelin missile. The gun battle raged for 15 minutes until fighter jets arrived and provided close air support. When the smoke cleared from the battlefield, all the ISIS attackers lay dead.

The wounded UKSF men were treated on the ground and eventually were airlifted away for further treatment by a helicopter. Their injuries are not said to be life-changing.

These are reportedly the first injuries involving British Special Forces fighting against ISIS. The UK is rumoured to have a significant contingent of Special Forces operating in Iraq. Troops from the SAS, SBS, Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) and the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) are all thought to be active in an ongoing campaign that has not been officially recognized by the UK government.

An Iraqi Army Humvee fitted with a DShK 12.7mm machine gun. ISIS used humvees captured from the Iraqi military in their ambush of the allied special operations task force.


The allied special operations troops were travelling in unmarked 4x4 vehicles, like these Toyota pickup trucks used by Peshmerga militia against ISIS in Northern Iraq. Such vehicles allow western forces to better blend in with civilian traffic, although a downside is they are not as heavily-armed as dedicated military vehicles which can mount multiple heavy weapons and be fitted with armour. In July 2014 it was reported that UKSF planned to purchase a number of Toyota Hilux pickup trucks.[2]

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