The parents of the three children had been killed during a Coalition airstrike earlier this year. The rescue operation took place sometime during the last two months. The SAS element was accompanied by a few Foreign Office personnel.
According to the British Foreign Office, more such rescues will take place in the coming weeks and months.
Since 2015, when an SAS Sabre Squadron was first deployed in Iraq to assist the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, the British Army’s Tier One unit has suffered one fatality: In March 2018, Sergeant Matt Tonroe and Delta Force Master Sergeant John Dunbar were killed during a raid against an ISIS high-value target (HVT) in Manbij, Syria, in March of 2018. (SOFREP previously published the exclusive story behind the deaths of the two operators.) The SAS has also suffered a number of wounded operators in action during its fight against the Jihadist terrorists.
The three children rescued have been received by foster parents back in the United Kingdom. Their identities remain, and for a good reason, hidden.
British SAS and their long-range vehicles somewhere in Syria.
European nations are still struggling to figure out what to do with their nationals, known as Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) who went off to join and fight for the Islamic State. The issue has even become a point of diplomatic tension between nations like France and Germany. U.S. President Trump has been pressing his European counterparts to assume responsibility for their nationals and take them back. But we aren’t talking about a couple of dozens of shitheads. More than 40,000 people from around the world went off to join ISIS; approximately 5,000 of them hail from Europe. The majority of those who have survived the Coalition’s raids and airstrikes are detainees in prisoner camps guarded by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). A lot of those camps, however, have been jeopardized by the Turkish invasion of Northern Syria, thereby bringing an additional sense of urgency to the matter.
A convenient solution to this diplomatic and political conundrum would be to strip FTFs of their citizenship. But this can only happen if they are dual-citizens, in which case it often becomes a race between the countries concerned of which will be the one that first strips the person in question of their citizenship. The British have already stripped citizenship from over 100 FTFs. The majority of the FTFs, however, have only one citizenship, muddying the waters even more.
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