SAS rescue 20 stranded troops from Taliban in daring desert raid
The SAS needed to dispatch a trying strike in Taliban territory after 20 of its soldiers ended up abandoned, many miles from safety
They had sent a SOS to authorities back in London calling for ‘immediate extraction‘, the Daily Mail reported.
The speed of the Taliban’s development through the country implied that the airfield in Kandahar was at that point beyond reach so a favorable location must be found in a desert.
A UK Hercules transport aircraft was dispatched to the hidden area, the directions of which had been sent back to London by means of coded messages.
The plane, equipped for landing and taking off again from desert territory, was momentarily gotten by flight radar on Wednesday night before its trackers were turned off.
Wearing night vision goggles, the group had the option to securely remove their colleagues without being recognized and transport them to an international army installation and military base in Dubai.
A source told the Mail: ‘It was a very hush, hush mission. Kandahar had fallen to the Taliban on Friday and the guys were down there for five days after that. The enemy were rampant and killing a lot of Afghan Special Forces whom the SAS had been working with. So it was a very urgent mission.
‘Credit to the Hercules crew from 47 Squadron for landing the aircraft at night on rough terrain and getting her airborne again with the guys and their equipment aboard. It was textbook.’
It comes as the Ministry of Defense confirmed that nearly 6,000 individuals have now been cleared from Kabul as a component of the UK rescue mission.
Those repatriated under Operation Pitting include embassy staff, British nationals, those qualified under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (Arap) program and few nationals from partner countries.
The evacuation is being aided by 1,000 British soldiers on the ground – including Paras from 16 Air Assault Brigade – just as other Whitehall staff.
Brigadier Dan Blanchford, the most senior UK military official on the ground in Kabul, said British military staff had saw some nerve racking scenes, with something like seven Afghan regular civilians confirmed to have been killed outside the airfied gates in the tumultuous crowd.