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SAS - History - 1990s

1991 - Gulf War
A, D & part of B Squadron deploy to the Gulf in response to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.

  • As Iraq invades Kuwait, A British Airways passenger plane, Flight 149, stops at Kuwait International Airport in order to deliver a group of men, speculated to be SAS operatives. The action causes the plane's passengers to be detained by the Iraqis and form part of Saddam's 'human shield'.
    source - the guardian
    read more : flight 149

  • A & D squadron Land Rover columns drive far behind Iraqi lines initially on search and destroy operations, then later becoming part of efforts to find and destroy Iraqi Scud missile launchers.
    Read more on SAS Desert Storm Operations

  • B Squadron insert foot patrols to watch main supply routes (MSRs) for Scud convoys. One patrol, Bravo Two Zero, are compromised and try to escape and evade to Syria.

1991 - Zaire
A small SAS team is sent to protect the British Embassy in the troubled African nation of Zaire. Whilst there, the SAS ensure that all British diplomatic staff are safely evacuated from the country.

1993 - The Waco Siege
At least one SAS man is sent to advise US authorities over the siege of the Branch Davidian cult at Waco, Texas.

1994/95 - Bosnia
SAS men support UN peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia and become caught up in the siege of Gorazde.
Read more on SAS involvement in Bosnia

1995 - Sierra Leone
A 2-man SAS team are sent to Sierra Leone to carry out intelligence gathering and a feasibility study for a possible rescue of westerners taken hostage by African rebels. All hostages are eventually released without need for military intervention.

1997 - Lima, Peru
The SAS advises the Peruvian authorities on a commando raid to end a four-month siege of the Japanese embassy in Lima. One of the hostages diesin the operation, together with two Peruvian commandos and 14 hostage-takers.

1997 - Bosnia
SAS teams, working under a NATO remit, arrest several suspected war criminals.
Read more on Operation Tango

1997 - Albania
In late March, the SAS extract British Aid Worker, Robert Welch from war-torn Albania. The 4-man SAS team, in a 2-Land Rover convoy meet Welch at a prearranged point then drive him to a helicopter landing zone. 2 Chinooks land and a security force made up of troops from The Prince of Wales Royal Regiment debussed and fanned out around the landing zone. The 2 SAS Land Rovers, including Welch, are driven up into the Chinook's cargo hold and shortly after the rescue force is airborne, flying low across the Albanian countryside and out to sea for a refueling stop on an American Aircraft Carrier stationed in the Adriatic.
source - the telegraph

A day later, a British couple, Mike and Judy Smith, were safely escorted to safety by the SAS. The Smiths were running an orphanage in Elbasan, in the Albania countryside and had phoned the British embassy in the capital, Tirana, when a series of gang-related killings caus them to fear for the children in their care. An SAS convoy of 3 vehicles drive to the orphanage and set up secure satellite communications. The British couple are given 30 minutes to prepare themselves and the 22 children to move. As the convoy drives towards the relative safety of Tirana, 2 RAF Chinooks escort them, ready to land and evacuate the passengers if needed. The SAS, with the British couple and children arrive in Tirana without incident.
source - the telegraph

1998 - The Gulf
Small numbers of SAS and SBS forces are deployed to the Persian Gulf to act as Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) forces for downed allied air crew during the US-led bombing of Iraqi targets.
source - the telegraph

1999 - Kosovo
The SAS play a part in the NATO intervention against the Serbian action in Kosovo
more info : the SAS in Kosovo

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