IMAGES of UK special forces operating on the Syrian frontlines have been published by the BBC, marking the first visual confirmation of a British military presence in the war ravaged country.
Ostensibly there to protect a rebel base manned by the New Syrian Army from Daesh advances, the elite soldiers were photographed manoeuvring Thalab long range patrol vehicles around the perimeter.
The presence of British troops in Syria has been mired in smoke and mirrors in lieu of an official confirmation or justification of their entry into the conflict, despite longstanding rebel accounts that they have been providing weaponry and expertise.
Wielding heavy artillery the soldiers were photographed in June, meaning the clandestine operations have been executed for many months, if not years, despite the British parliament rejecting military action against president Assad in 2013.
Since then the official narrative has shifted with the Arab sands and Daesh is now public enemy number one as the British and Americans attempt to simultaneously protect their favourite rebels from both the terrorist outfit and Assad.
Deployment of special forces does not require parliamentary approval but there is a growing sense of mission creep as the soldiers move from training camps in Jordan to active combat situations in Syria, while the Ministry of Defence confirmed airstrikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria in early August.
Bleak and bloody, Syria’s civil war shows little sign of abating as Aleppo, the country’s second city, comes under ferocious aerial bombardment from the Assad regime, and the strife further degenerates into a punishing proxy war between a convoluted cast of foreign governments.
Russia’s president Putin is set to meet with fellow strongman Recep Erdogan for their first personal meeting since the fallout over the Turkish downing of a Russian fighter jet. Russia is a firm backer of Assad, while Turkey has been accused of financially supporting Daesh, yet both are wary of the British/American plot to overthrow both actors and install a new regime favourable to their own interests.