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SAS - History - 1980s

1980 - Operation Nimrod
B Squadron, SAS storm the Iranian Embassy in London.
Read more on Operation Nimrod.

1981 - The Gambia
In August 1981, 3 SAS men from B Squadron are sent to the Gambia to assist President Jawara's regime in putting down a coup attempt by Cuban-backed Marxist rebels. Hostages taken by the rebels included members of the President's family. The 3-man SAS team managed to effect a rescue of the hostages and help restore Jawara to power.
Read more on the SAS Operation in the Gambia

1982 - The Falklands
The SAS play a major part in the British campaign to retake the Falkland Islands from Argentine invaders.

Rread more on the SAS during the Falklands Conflict

1982 -1989 - Afghanistan
Following the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979, a number of SAS men are sent to advise anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan. These men officially 'leave' the Regiment to be hired by a front company of the SIS, Britain's secret service. They are then contracted to go to Afghanistan where they link up with Afghani rebels. The SAS men lead the rebels on hit-and-run missions against Russian supply convoys. Once US-made Stinger SAMs become available, the SAS instruct the Rebels in their use. Some Afghanis are brought over to the UK and trained by SAS instructors.

1984 - Libyan Embassy in London
In April 1984, The SAS anti-terrorist team deploys to London and prepares to storm the Libyan embassy following an incident in which a British policewoman is killed by gunfire from within. In the end, a diplomatic solution is reached and the SAS are stood down.

1985 - Botswana
Following a series of cross-border attacks by South African forces, B Squadron provide training to the Botswana Defence Force (BDF).

1987 - Peterhead Prison
In a controversial use of the SAS in a domestic situation, a team of SAS are sent to quell the riots at Peterhead Prison and rescue a Prison Warder being held hostage.
Read more on the Peterhead Prison operation

Late 80s - Beruit
The SAS deploy to Beirut to prepare the ground for a rescue of kidnapped Western hostages including Terry Waite and John McCarthy. Covert teams carry out surveillance of possible insertion/extraction sites and routes in/out but in the end the mission is called off.

1988 - Gibraltar
March 1988 - 3 suspected IRA terrorists are shot dead by the SAS on the streets of Gibraltar in the controversial 'Operation Flavius'.
read more on Operation Flavius

1989 - 1991 - Columbia
SAS teams train and assist Columbian forces in their struggle against the drug cartels.

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