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5 British SAS soldiers arrested on suspicion of alleged war crimes in Syria

6 March 2024

Five Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers have been arrested by British military police on suspicion of alleged war crimes in Syria, according to media reports Tuesday.

An Anadolu report says the soldiers from the elite force could face murder charges over the death of a suspected militant two years ago. Reports say the troops used excessive force and should have arrested the man instead. The soldiers claim he posed a threat and intended to carry out a suicide attack.

The Guardian reported that the Ministry of Defense said it would not comment directly on the investigation, but defense sources indicated that reports regarding the arrests were accurate.

“We hold our personnel to the highest standards, and any allegations of wrongdoing are taken seriously. Where appropriate, any criminal allegations are referred to the service police for investigation,” said a ministry spokesperson.

According to the report, the SAS has been actively deployed in Syria over the past 10 years, engaged in the fight against the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group and “supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces,” which is dominated by the PKK/YPG terror group.

This is not the first report regarding alleged crimes committed by SAS soldiers, as an independent probe was launched last March into allegations of summary killings by British troops in Afghanistan.

In December 2022, Britain’s Defense Ministry ordered an independent inquiry after a BBC TV documentary reported that soldiers from the SAS had killed dozens of people during raids carried out by one of its squadrons in Helmand province in 2010-11.

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