Skip to comments.SAS unit, diplomat 'held' by Libya rebels
Posted on 03/05/2011 10:33:13 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster
SAS unit, diplomat 'held' by Libya rebels
LONDON (AFP) A Special Air Service (SAS) unit and a junior diplomat were being held by rebels in eastern Libya following a bungled mission to put the envoy in touch with them, The Sunday Times said.
The broadsheet, citing sources, said the SAS unit, thought to be up to eight men, were captured along with the diplomat they were escorting through the rebel-held east.
"We can neither confirm nor deny the report," a Foreign Office spokeswoman told AFP.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said: "We neither confirm nor deny the story and we do not comment on the special forces."
The uninvited appearance of the SAS alongside the diplomat "angered Libyan opposition figures who ordered the soldiers to be locked up in a military base," the weekly said.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Name the last time Rangers or SEALS were captured.
An SAS unit, supposedly the most elite of them all, gets captured? That boggles the mind. Let’s all hope they’re OK.
We probably don’t want to go there. I have a feeling that they were there on a pretty heinous mission in the first place (like maybe covering tracks or something worse).
They need to change their name to the Not-So-Special Air Service, it seems.
Strains one’s belief. Maybe the “junior” diplomat was a lefty and told them not to shoot?
Chaperoning a diplomat is an inappropriate mission for SAS, don’t you think? Rescuing one seems more appropriate for the unit like SAS.
Yep, good point. I suppose it's possible a SAS unit might have been taken, but we see claims like this all the time by rabble forces, and they're never true. Just have to wait and see.
The British are acting the way the French get accused of doing. Last time it was a bunch of sailors and royal marines getting captured within sight of a Royal Navy “warship”.
Britian’s moral decay is almost complete. Like a termite riddled 2x4, it looks the same,,, but is rotten all the way through.
Would the “8 SAS men killed in Libya clashes” do it for you? Remember, this is not Nazi Germany or Russia invading UK and they surrendered. In a few days they will be free
Yep, a few days ago it was a news of Libyan government forces captured a team of Dutch marines’ commandos and their chopper.
The UK needs to send in more men—some ships and planes. Side with the Bengazi Rebels, declare them the real Government of Libya, Sign a new oil deal with Libya sending her oil to BP, and support them in their march on Tripoli. That’s how Sir Winston would have done it.
The Libyan rebels are supposed to be potential allies, perhaps blasting their way out of there would not have been the best option if the goal was to foster closer cooperation.
I’m sure it will get straightened out soon enough...
“The UK needs to send in more mensome ships and planes. Side with the Bengazi Rebels, declare them the real Government of Libya, Sign a new oil deal with Libya sending her oil to BP, and support them in their march on Tripoli. Thats how Sir Winston would have done it.”
Or maybe the SAS team was sold out.
It’s not that simple. The SAS guys were riding shotgun for some spook/diplomat types. You are in vehicles. You roll into a crowded stretch of road with 100s of people around. Then you are funneled into a roadblock/checkpoint with dozens of AKs, RPDs and rockets aimed at you.
Going down in a blaze of glory just to not be captured is not an option, because your very mission (mission comes first) is to put those diplos into contact with unknown rebel leaders.
So don’t get snarky about SAS guys compared to SEALs or anybody else.
I was a SEAL officer, I’m proud no SEAL has been captured in combat, but this was not combat. It’s an ongoing diplomatic overture. That is their mission, to go find the rebel leaders.
In the chaos of March 2011 Libya, you can’t expect this mission to go down smoothly.
Look, if you are in a vehicle that rolls into a roadblock on a channeled highway and you are surrounded by 100s of rifles and MGs aimed at you, while on a diplomatic mission to find the unknown rebel leaders....
Do you really think shooting your way out is a feasible option?
You probably think Custer was a coward, all he needed to do was charge the Indians and take them all out.
Life ain’t that simple.
Also the reality is that all we really care about in that area of the world is oil and ultimately no matter who comes out on top in Lybia, the oil there will flow again. If we go marching into Lybia to setup a new "rebel" government it'll cause more problems in countries like Saudi Arabia that are much more important to us and we don't really know what we'd be getting.
We shouldn't be placing troops on the ground in Lybia when we may very well need them to protect the oil fields in Saudi Arabia in the very near future.
You are on the right track. Their mission was to get their diplos into contact with unknown rebel leaders. This is not a cookie cutter operation. They had to go to the heart of rebel activity to find the rebel leaders.
Now, we’ll find out from this if the rebel leaders are actually rabid islamicts, who won’t play nice with Brits, even Brits who are trying to help them.
You are an idiot.
Anything that can’t fit into a neat mission category is the appropriate mission for the SAS. A mission of putting diplos into contact with rebel leaders in a chaotic and fluid situation is just such a messy, undefined mission. So you give it to your best, smartest and most flexible troops: the SAS.
If it was blowing a hole in a wall, use Rangers. This was not blowing a hole in a wall. So you use guys that are a lot smarter. Don’t worry, when they come out, they’ll have met what passes for rebel leadership.
They’ll have accomplished their mission.
And the simpletons who think the SAS troops were cowards for not shooting their way out of a roadblock while surrounded by 100s of twitchy Libyans rebels WHO THEY ARE TRYING TO MEET, NOT KILL, can go back to their child-like comic-book view of the world.
SAS unit, diplomat 'held' by Libya rebelsOkay. Someone tell me having gays openly serving in the military or woman in combat arms units doesn't eventually affect the entire structure.
This would never happen to the SAS 20 years ago, NEVER!
an aside: Maybe two years ago I caught a program on the Military Channel about the UK's Royal Marines. Once, as good as ours (maybe). But NOW, the DI's have to 'be nice' to recruits during training, and if the recruits still don't 'like it', they can quit!
England is DOOMED!
Cheers mate. I have no military experience whatsover, but I understand some of the people who made those kinds of comments about the SAS and this situation have.
Pretty sorry state of affairs if people who should know better don’t...
You, with no military experience, at least grasped the crux of the situation.
Idiots on this thread who think Rambo was a real person do not.
Newsflash to them: Chuck Norris was not an actual Delta leader.
The Royal Marines are supposed to be a highly-trained and motivated light infantry commando force. I would have thought that forcing people who don't want to be there to stay is not really the point if you are trying to find the kind of people who won't quit when the going gets tough, even when they are given the option of an easy way out...
Scorpion nad frog. They just can’t help it.
2/3 of SEAL tadpoles quit during training.
I guess this proves SEALs have wimpy training. (I graduated from BUD/S Class 105 in 1979.)
I can’t believe the # of blithering idiots on this thread.
Hey Condor51, SLY STALLONE AND CHUCK NORRIS DID NOT SHOOT REAL BULLETS IN THOSE MOVIES.
They just didn't 'quit the Royal Marines', like prospective SEALS who 'ring the bell' and go back to their regular units (or SF who don't meke it through Robin Sage, or guys with Ranger School, etc.)
They're allowed to quit the military and go home. Again they're quitting not flunking out or failing any tests.
And you're kidding about Stallone right? I thought he had real guns and live ammo (never watched a Chuck Norris movie)
being held by rebels in eastern Libya following a
bungled mission to put the envoy in touch with them
mission accomplished ??? ASSuming they find some sort of leaders and aint beheaded...
i will also go out on a limb and bet that jesse ventura wasnt there carrying an electric minigun...
you've more than expressed the proper perspective
They don't have a safety on their keyboards and their magazines are apparently not full
I know a former SEAL, and after speaking with him about previous missions, nothing specific mind you, I’ve come to the conclusion that if a SOF mission goes bad, it’s usually the fault of a politician somewhere.
Nawww, couldn't be. Why would I give SAS any credit?
[quote]They just didn’t ‘quit the Royal Marines’, like prospective SEALS who ‘ring the bell’ and go back to their regular units (or SF who don’t meke it through Robin Sage, or guys with Ranger School, etc.)
They’re allowed to quit the military and go home. Again they’re quitting not flunking out or failing any tests.[/quote]
The SAS and (presumably) the SEALS are units you apply to join having already served some time in a regular branch.
The Royal Marines is not a special forces unit, it is a ‘regular’ unit that people apply to join straight from civvy street. Therefore, there is no unit to return to in most cases if you flunk out of Royal Marine selection and training.
Again, the Royal Marines are a sub-special forces elite light infantry force, they want people who are highly motivated and determined. If you don’t want to be there, it is no loss to them if you quit, because they are the kind of military unit that doesn’t want quitters in its ranks...
This is how they advertise for recruits, if it gives you some idea of who they want to apply in the first place:
Looks like they’ve been released, as expected. Certainly a better result for all concerned than would have been the case if they had tried to shoot their way out, gotten killed in the process, achieving nothing except pissing off the Libyan Rebels, who will in all probability be forming the new Libyan government that we will all be having to deal with when they finally take Tripoli and hang Gaddaffi’s bullet-riddled carcass from the nearest lampost...
“A Special Air Service (SAS) unit and a junior diplomat were being held by rebels in eastern Libya following a bungled mission to put the envoy in touch with them”
Is it just me or does it seem the SAS accomplished their mission? I’d say it took balls of steel to accept a mission whereby they were to escort a VIP into hostile territory and ask to meet what might be crazy nut jobs. I doubt they are being “held”, rather, they are being used, as expected, as “bargaining chips.” It simply allows the rebels to save face and get the British more of what they went there for. Again, balls of steel.
“The SAS and (presumably) the SEALS are units you apply to join having already served some time in a regular branch.”
Nope. No “regular” time required. In fact, many units throughout the DoD prefer that you never step foot into another unit only to learn bad habits they then have to unlearn.
They have now been released.
Well, I’ll defer to people who know better on that score. It does seem a bit strange that they would recruit from such a massive pool of untested civilians who they know very little about before they even start the selection process, but maybe they have their reasons.
From what I understand of the SAS, you already have to be a member of HM armed forces before you attempt to join them.
Also from what I understand, the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Marines are the most common units that the SAS recruit from. They will already have gone through an intense selection process and level of training at Catterick or Lympstone respectively, so the pool the SAS is drawn from will already be full of highly-trained, competent and extremely tough men before they even start whittling it down to the very few individuals that will survive this even tougher selection process and in order to get ‘badged’...
Thank you, sir, for adding clarity and reasoning to these comments.
While I don’t have special forces background (I was a Navy Scuba Diver assigned to my submarine and my son is currently stationed with the 82nd Airborne) I recognize that these SAS troopers are NOT sub par as some here automatically assumed.
One thing I would add though about your comment about “if you just wanted to blow a hole in a wall call the Rangers”....Army Rangers (specifically those assigned to a Ranger Battalion) are some serious, no holds barred, go getters. Just trying to get assigned to a Ranger Battalion takes not just enlisting, but passing Jump school, then passing RASP (an 8 week ordeal). While Rangers may not be as specialized as SEALS (I can only guess cause I was neither) they are much more then just “wall breachers”.
Although if this mission was assigned to the Army Rangers, from what I learned, they would have had to ruck march/run the whole way with 60lbs of gear while the ambassador road comfortably along in a jeep. 8 )
“And the simpletons who think the SAS troops were cowards for not shooting their way out of a roadblock while surrounded by 100s of twitchy Libyans rebels WHO THEY ARE TRYING TO MEET, NOT KILL, can go back to their child-like comic-book view of the world.”
Not cowards just dumb. Walk right into an ambush? Unless
of course Maxwell Smart is running this OP, then it all
makes sense. Getting caught with the “elite” SAS may give
the diplomat some cred and stir the curiosity of the rebel
leaders. Or they just plain screwed up.
It always amazed me how easy it is for someone on the other side of the world with zero experience in the field to tell you how you should have done things better or differently. Quite frankly, I like my skin and everything contained within it, so when someone else was willing to sacrifice it at their whim because of some idea they had gotten from a movie, I politely told them what they could go do to themselves... A couple of times I even keyed the mic when I said it and told them they had just misunderstood the transmission when I got back. Of course no one was willing to file a charge when the objective had been accomplished... They would have looked like an idiot.
I decided I was better suited to private contractor work... Never looked back.
The USMC on average train 11 wks, then further training.
The Royal Marines train for 32 wks, then further training. All Royal Marines are both elite light infantry and commandos.
Your Marines are good, but I will take a RM anyday.
This demonstrates the supreme need for mission clarity in the field. These guys could have absolutely manhandled anyone they KNEW they would have to fight. Diplomacy-driven initiatives are always confused because they proceed toward still-developing goals.
It's like getting lost in a bad neighborhood while driving a steamroller. Yeah you could steamroller any poor bastard who got in your way, but when you get in trouble when you stop to get directions.