Two Special Air Service (SAS) operators were wounded by an IED during a recent clandestine operation inside Yemen.
The two SAS troopers are part of a joint U.S-U.K. special operations team conducting reconnaissance for ideal drop-zones in case the West decided to provide much-needed humanitarian aid to the challenged Yemenis. However, the SAS operators weren’t from the 22 SAS Regiment—the active duty unit—but rather from the 21 SAS, which is a Territorial Army unit.
According to reports, the joint SOF team was inserted into the country by a United Arab Emirates (UAE) C-47 Chinook helicopter and linked up with UAE forces on the ground near the town of Marib, which is controlled by the Sunni Yemeni government. They were provided with civilian pickup trucks to conduct their mission without arousing suspicion. While surveying the land for potential drop zones, one of team’s pickup trucks struck an IED, wounding the two SAS operators. A medevac chopper flew them to the U.S. base in Djibouti; they were subsequently flown to Royal Air Force Akrotiri in Cyprus.
Such an operation would be in accordance with the diplomatic initiative of the British Foreign Office. In late January 2019, the British government announced a $3 million aid package in an attempt to salvage a ceasefire into the port city of Hodeida. The British diplomats and their United Nations (U.N.) colleagues believe if they can maintain peace in Hodeida, other parts of war-torn Yemen will follow suit. The aid package is aimed at assisting the civilian administration with city management, demining operations, and the creation of a local law enforcement presence.