British special forces deployed in 19 countries since 2011 – NGO – RT World News
Secret agents have taken part in foreign conflicts without any parliamentary approval or control
The UK has sent its special forces to 19 countries since 2011, according to a report by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV). These British agents trained foreign militants, carried out assassinations and reportedly fought alongside child soldiers.
In a report on Tuesday, the AOAV said British agents have been deployed to combat or monitor hostile forces in Algeria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Somalia, the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.
Some of these deployments have taken place in places where British troops were already fighting, as was the case in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, British Special Forces (UKSF) continued operations in both countries long after the regular forces withdrew. In Afghanistan, hundreds of civilian deaths have been attributed to nighttime raids by British and American special forces between 2009 and 2012.
While Parliament has authorized military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, the UKSF has deployed in other areas of active conflict without the consent of lawmakers. Three days before parliament voted against a deployment to Syria in 2013, UKSF and MI6 agents were on the ground targeting Syrian air defense installations and calling for US airstrikes, the report said. Within months, they were training anti-government militants while assassinating Islamic State fighters.
In Yemen, UKSF members carried out raids against al-Qaeda-linked militants, but in some cases fought alongside jihadists who had been recruited by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to attack the Houthi rebels. Up to 40% of these jihadist forces, AOAV noted, were child soldiers.
Training missions and hostage rescue operations made up the bulk of the rest of the deployments, while the UKSF operation in Russia focused on the safety of British athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Recently leaked Pentagon documents suggest the UK has deployed 50 special forces personnel to Ukraine since Russia launched its military operation last February. Prior to the leak, several media outlets reported the presence of British and American special forces in Ukraine, while a general told The Times last year that as many as 300 British commandos were leading “discreet operations” alongside kyiv forces.
“The massive deployment of UK special forces to many countries over the past decade raises serious concerns about transparency and democratic control,” said AOAV Director Iain Overton. “The lack of parliamentary approval and retrospective reviews for these missions is deeply troubling.”