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Ops 12. UK Special Forces Operations: Pakistan

Britain’s Special Forces have been deployed operationally in at least 19 overseas countries in the past decade, new analysis reveals, raising questions over the degree of transparency and democratic consent these shadowy units operate under. The countries where there have been active operations are: Algeria, Estonia, France, Iran/Oman (Strait of Hormuz), Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mediterranean (Cyprus), Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.

This section outlines the extent of UKSF’s operations in Pakistan.

2011 (physically based in Afghanistan)

April-May: The Special Boat Service (SBS) and Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) were engaged alongside American Delta Force and the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA) to locate Bin Laden. It was reported that two SBS officers had played a crucial role in planning the raid on bin Laden’s compound at Abbottabad in Pakistan in 2011.

“Their top secret role has been described as crucial for the success of the mission. Both men were involved in the detailed planning of an operation so precise that an exact replica of Bin Laden’s sprawling home was constructed in Afghanistan so the assault could be rehearsed.” (Express)


Whilst only one source, the porous nature of the AfPak border and the fact that US SF have been widely reported as operating in Pakistani sovereign territory, including the killing of Bin Laden in 2011, suggests that this singular report is credible:

“American and British special forces are engaged in a secret war against al-Qa’ida and Taliban fighters who have taken refuge in Pakistan. Several US soldiers have been injured in a series of clashes in the mountains straddling the frontier and inside Pakistan, according to military sources. Members of the British Special Air Service and Special Boat Service also took part in some of the Pakistani operations as observers and intelligence gatherersThe delicacy of General Musharraf’s position and Britain’s relationship with Pakistan precludes a more aggressive stance, according to diplomatic sources.” (Independent)