According to recent sources, the United Kingdom’s SAS (Special Air Service) has conducted secret British military operations in Lebanon, including training aimed at rescuing Britons in West Asia.
Veteran British journalist Robert Peston wrote an amazing article on the social media site X on October 8. Peston claimed that the Palestinian resistance operation Al-Aqsa Flood will unavoidably turn into a full-fledged regional conflict, which would be “as destabilizing to global security as Putin’s attack on Ukraine,” citing insider information from “government and intelligence sources.” The writer cautioned:
“We are in the early stages of a conflict with ramifications for much of the world.”
This finding is all the more startling in light of how quickly British intelligence learned that there would be unrest in West Asia, less than twenty-four hours after the historic Palestinian freedom fighters attacked Israel.
A deeper story that suggests London may have played a role in sparking strife throughout the region and that a sinister plot has been playing out ever since is hinted at by the haste with which Western audiences must be prepared for the impending crisis.
Covert military alliances: SAS in Gaza
It should go without saying that there is a great deal of secrecy around Britain’s role in Israel’s genocide in Gaza. The Ministry of Defense described the December 2020 signing of a military cooperation agreement between London and Tel Aviv as a “significant piece of defense diplomacy” that “strengthens” military ties between the two nations and offers “a mechanism for planning our joint activity.”
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However, neither elected MPs nor regular British citizens are aware of the provisions of this pact.
There is conjecture as to whether the pact requires Britain to protect Israel in the case of an attack, which could account for the infamous SAS’s apparent involvement in the occupying army’s attack on Palestinians.
Reports from the mainstream media in late October said that the elite squadron was “on standby” at British military and intelligence facilities in nearby Cyprus, ready to launch audacious hostage rescue missions in Gaza.
According to later sources, the special operations forces of the United Kingdom were “training in Lebanon to rescue Britons” in West Asia in case they were involved in the conflict in Gaza or “taken hostage” by Hezbollah or the Lebanese resistance.
Having “built up a very close relationship” with their counterparts in Beirut, these forces “provide an insight and influence on Lebanese decision-making and seeing things from the other side of the northern border, which concerns Israel,” a senior British Army official boasted.
A Politico correspondent has reported that the Pentagon has launched Operation Prosperity Guardian, which is a naval coalition to defend the Red Sea Passage.
Because of the secrecy surrounding these operations, British press outlets received D-notices from the Defense and Security Media Advisory (DSMA) Committee from Britain warning them not to reveal any sensitive information concerning SAS operations in West Asia.
As expected, the British media has not reported on the SAS’s interest in Gaza anymore. However, the DSMA’s mention of “security, intelligence, and counter-terrorism operations” suggests that its presence in the area serves far more important goals than just rescuing hostages.
This notion is supported by independent studies conducted by Declassified UK, which show that 33 military transport aircraft from the same British facilities in Cyprus, home to SAS operators, are routed to Tel Aviv.
These flights are not a coincidence; in fact, they have been occurring regularly in the two weeks after Israel attacked Gaza. The independent media site recently disclosed, on December 12, how, in response to Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, Britain had surreptitiously sent an additional 500 troops to its facilities in Cyprus.
A UK government minister told a member of parliament this information. It was also discovered that Britain had sent more troops to Egypt, Lebanon, and the occupation state, with only hazy allusions to “operational security reasons” serving as justification.
Unrestricted access to Lebanon?
On November 21, The Cradle revealed a secret British plan to guarantee its military personnel unrestricted entry into Lebanese land.
A paper containing the suggestions was leaked; it did not provide an explanation for London’s actions or outline the precise task that British Army soldiers would be performing in Beirut, departing from the usual openness associated with a memorandum of understanding of this kind.
If the memorandum had been accepted, it would have eliminated the requirement for “prior diplomatic authorization” for “emergency missions” and given “all [British] military personnel” unprecedented access to Lebanon’s air, ground, and sea territory.
It was unclear what those missions entailed. In essence, British soldiers would have had immunity from arrest or prosecution for any crime they committed and could have traveled across Lebanon in uniform with their weapons clearly visible.
These bold demands bear disturbing resemblances to the 1999 Rambouillet Agreement written by NATO and offered to Yugoslavia when Yugoslavia’s refusal served as cover for a military assault spearheaded by the US.
A top State Department official at the time enthusiastically confessed to “deliberately [setting] the bar higher” than what the government of Yugoslavia could realistically accept.
However, London had good reason to assume that Beirut would bow to its outrageous demands this time. According to a wealth of documented evidence, British intelligence has carried out numerous covert operations over a long period of time to infiltrate Lebanese intelligence, security, and military institutions at the highest levels while smuggling its operatives and sympathizers into important state ministries.
The specifics of the memorandum of understanding supporting any of these operations have never been made public by either party.
Britain has branded the well-known Lebanese political party Hezbollah as a prohibited terrorist organization, and from a listening post atop Mount Olympus in Cyprus, it keeps a close check on the resistance group’s armed component. This calculated mistake is explained by the expectation that should a “war of annihilation” break out in Gaza, we will fight alongside Iran.
East of Suez
The “war of annihilation” has already begun. If the leaked UK-Lebanon agreement had been implemented, British forces might have been strategically positioned in the Levantine state, raising the possibility of tensions reaching a breaking point.
A new theater of conflict in the Red Sea may be taking focus away from the memorandum, even though the reasons for its non-enactment are yet unknown. The US and its allies, notably Britain, have launched a “maritime security mission” in reaction to actions carried out by Yemen’s Ansarallah-aligned military forces against commercial vessels that were headed toward Israel. These activities have severely disrupted important commerce lanes.
Despite its display of might, the international coalition faces difficulties because Sanaa is not exhibiting any signs of capitulating. Senior Pentagon officials are growing increasingly concerned about the mission’s success due to the operational expenditures associated with intercepting low-cost attack drones.
In Britain’s eyes, the US-led effort fits in with its strategic objectives as stated in the “integrated defense review” from March 2021, which serves as a roadmap for regaining control of the seas and guaranteeing “freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aden.”
This newfound naval emphasis contrasts sharply with Britain’s 1967 retreat from the area, known as “East of Suez,” which was seen as a sign of the British Empire’s demise.
As was made public in April, Yemenis were forced to accept a deplorable UN peace proposal by British intelligence, which was used to justify Saudi Arabia’s destructive air campaign against Sanaa.
Robert Peston’s intelligence sources on October 8 hinted at an unnerving prospect of confrontation with possibly far-reaching effects, given Ansarallah’s tenacity against neocolonial pressures and the failure of such psychological methods.