A British Army source revealed last night that former SAS soldiers are training Syrian rebels in Iraq in military tactics, weapons handling and communications systems.
More than 300 have passed through a base just inside the Iraq border, while a command course is run in Saudi Arabia.
Groups of 50 rebels at a time are being trained by two private security firms employing former Special Forces personnel. “Our role is purely instructional teaching tactics, techniques and procedures,” said a former SAS member.
“Some of these guys are shopkeepers and schoolteachers who have lost everything.
“If we can teach them how to take cover, to shoot and avoid being spotted by snipers it will hopefully help.”
In Britain, military commanders have drawn up contingency plans to evacuate UK passport holders from Lebanon and Jordan if violence spills over from Syria.
A joint naval exercise with France, codenamed Exercise Cougar 12, would be headed by a Royal Naval assault ship, HMS Bulwark, and carry 650 Royal Marines from 45 Commando.
July 24, 2012 “Daily Mail and Sunday Express”