The BBC have obtained photos of British special forces operating in Syria, defending a rebel base under attack by Islamic State.

The BBC published photos of around a dozen special forces soldiers on four vehicles heavily equipped with weapons.

The BBC said that the photos were taken in June, immediately after an Islamic State attack which had killed nine of the rebels at the southeastern Al Tanaf base.

The BBC has obtained photos showing British special forces operating in Syria against IS. CREDIT: BBC
The BBC has obtained photos showing British special forces operating in Syria against IS. CREDIT: BBC
It was already known that British special forces based in Jordan were crossing into Syria to assist the New Syrian Army in al-Tanf.

Operation Shader is the operational code name given to the British participation in the ongoing military intervention against the Islamic State.

The operation began in Iraq on the 26th of September 2014, following a formal request for assistance by the Iraqi government.

Prior to this, the Royal Air Force had been engaged in a humanitarian relief effort over Mount Sinjar, which involved multiple aid airdrops by transport aircraft and the airlifting of displaced refugees. By October 2014, the intervention had extended onto Syria with the Royal Air Force only mandated to conduct surveillance flights over the country.

In December 2015, the House of Commons approved British airstrikes against IS in Syria. The UK is one of several countries directly involved in the ongoing Syrian conflict that started in March 2011.

By June 2016, the Ministry of Defence had announced that over 1,000 personnel were engaged in theater and that the Royal Air Force had conducted around 900 airstrikes, flying over 2,200 sorties, killing almost 1,000 Islamic State fighters.

The deployment Britain’s special forces does not require parliamentary approval, unlike the deployment of regular soldiers.

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Rob

U.K. Sf using Toyotas know?

Chris Harding

this in my eyes compromises our special forces operating in the region. the BBC have been fools to publish this article

UK Defence Journal

Hi, we’ve spoken to the MoD media team and they have given explicit permission for the publishing of these images.

Teuson Nijland

Why? So that the government from Assad knows he has intruders in his country? Or so that ISIS know the force is there?

UK Defence Journal

It’s been known for the last year.

Teuson Nijland

Nothing wrong with that. It’s in fact öld news”than.

Harry Gillespie

They’ve been there for ages and is common knowledge relax bro

Joshua Soane

Images apparently from June, so two-month old images would be unlikely to compromise operations.

Simon Robinson-Lovatt

It’s more an exercise in PR isn’t it? Showing UK forces on the frontline against terror. If they published the current latitude and longitude of the teams, that’d be a bit daft.

It’s akin to releasing details saying “Chris is in the UK ”

No real details.

Chris Harding

while I agree with what you are all saying but we don’t need visual evidence of SF operations in the warzone.

just knowing they are there should be enough

it may be a old image but that site might be still used by operators not just from the UK but other allied forces. if that spot got identified by some with knowledge of the locality it becomes a target

Terry Farquharson

Totally agree with you, our dear BBC has stopped thinking about consequences when they act like this and it’s happening more and more.

Marc Holt

This surely is punishable legally? The BBC shouldnt be taking pictures like this and publishing them

UK Defence Journal

Hi, we’ve spoken to the MoD media team and they have given explicit permission for the publishing of these images.

Marc Holt

Thats ok then! Still feel it’s a bit daft publishing pictures while the special forces are on a current live operation.

David Anthony Simpson

I despair at how ALL our media like to compromise our service personnel’s lives and their Ops these days for the sake of selfish publicity. SF in particularly don’t deserve this.

UK Defence Journal

Hi, we’ve spoken to the MoD media team and they have given explicit permission for the publishing of these images.

Chris Moss

Should not be shown anywhere and in my opinion that includes here,guys who need to know will already do so.

UK Defence Journal

Hi, we’ve spoken to the MoD media team and they have given explicit permission for the publishing of these images.

Chris Moss

I not have expected any less of you but still stand by my statement.MOD media what could possibly go wrong.?

UK Defence Journal

There is nothing personally identifiable, at all, in any of these images. The MoD allowed the images largely to generate positive press.

Chris Moss

Out.

Nigel Murphy

Well done the chaps out there. We all support what you are doing- do it well and thoroughly.

Teuson Nijland

The courage from those soldiers may also be there. Its something that a lot of people think its normal. Those men and women give their lives for freedom, democracy and deserve our respect. Im very glad the BBC shows what the work from special forces contains. Not just sitting on your as. As normal people do, when they come fome from a 9-17.00 0 clock job. And think: there goes my tax money. You have seen in London what ISIS can do. you have seen it in Paris, Brussels and allso in Germany. The militairy is there to protect human… Read more »

Jonny Davies

When have we seen what ISIS can do in London?

Martin Latchford

Armed ready for a small war never mind a fight don’t mess with British sf..

Harry Eaton

I like how a lot of people are concerned with OpSec, though these pictures are released for use by the MoD so are fine, the fact our special forces have been fighting ISIS has been common knowledge for quite a while now so enemies can’t garner anything particularly useful from these photographs.

Richard Jeffrey philip Caldicott

Don’t matter who knows dpe ial forces ste I. Location either way the enemy end up FUBAR dog food

Henry Grey

To hell with those Whitehall Warriors. So much for Force Protection and Operational Security. So what if you’ve spoken to MoD?