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SAS Behind Yemen Hostage Rescue


The Special Air Service (SAS) was behind the rescue of a British hostage being held in Yemen, it has been reported. [1]

Oil worker, Bob Semple, 64, was taken by al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula (AQAP) in February of 2014. His kidnapping had been kept secret by British authorities. On Sunday it was revealed that Mr Semple had been freed from captivity by United Arab Emirates (UAE) troops based in the city of Aden. After being rescued, he was taken at first to Aden, then later flown to Abu Dhabi, UAE,

The Mirror claims that a small SAS team helped plan the rescue. It does not elaborate further or claim that any British troops took part in the raid itself.

British Special Forces are known to have been active in Yemen for some time, mostly in a training capacity.[2] The deteriorating security situation, however, led in March to the reported evacuation of British Special Forces from the country.[3]

As usual, being a tabloid story, news of any SAS involvement should be greeted with a healthy degree of scepticism, The Mirror report is very vague on the SAS's role in the operation. As with many press stories about United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF), it should be remembered that the Ministry Of Defence never comments on special forces matters. This means that the tabloids are pretty much free to print whatever they like about UKSF operations without fear of an official denial.

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