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 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.