At least five British servicemen from the Special Boat Service (SBS), an elite naval counterterrorism unit, have been wounded during ongoing operations in Yemen. The proxy war in the country has left more than 60,000 dead and 13 million people subject to famine. The operators’ activities in the war-shattered region are cloaked in mystery. Around 30 of these crack British soldiers are based in the Sa’dah region of northern Yemen.

The mission in which the SBS operators were wounded took place in the country’s north. The wounded suffered small-arms injuries upon entering into a firefight against extremely committed and well-prepared Houthi rebels.

The U.K. has loaned its special operations forces out to its partners in the region, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Their mission in Yemen is to train, mentor, and advise UAE- and Saudi-sponsored troops. Saudi Arabia and its partners in Yemen are engaging in a proxy war against Iran, which supports the Houthi rebels.

According to the Daily Mail, “The SBS men were treated for leg and arm wounds following the battles in the Sa’dah area of northern Yemen, where up to 30 crack British troops are based. The casualties are understood to be now recovering in the U.K.”