Elite British forces in the SAS have been told not to allow the Islamic State to take them alive, according to the Daily Star. Special Forces have been ordered to “fight to the last man” with commanders telling them “save the last bullet for yourselves”.
The SAS have been operating in ISIS-controlled territory for some time, but the new rules were issued after the brutal murder of a Jordanian pilot. Lieutenant Muath al-Kasaesbeh was burned alive earlier this month, after his plane was downed.
A source said: “The SAS have been told that if they are captured they can expect to be tortured before being beheaded, disembowelled or burned alive. They know there is virtually no chance of being rescued.
“Everyone taking part in the Iraq mission knows the risks. Most of the guys would never let themselves be taken prisoner – not by Islamic State (IS).”
As a result they will take their own lives if they are “surrounded and without hope of being rescued”. Commanders have warned the SAS it would be impossible to rescue them because the militants move prisoners daily.
They have suggested a “quick end is preferable to a long and painful death”. By killing themselves the SAS would also deny ISIS an important propaganda victory. The Islamic State have become famed for their well-produced but gruesome execution videos.
Victims are often forced to read out messages denouncing their country’s actions in the Middle East. In at least one case a hostage was forced to blame his own relatives for his beheading because they were in the American military.
If an SAS soldier was taken alive the source said he would expect the Royal Air Force to launch an airstrike against the building they were being held in. He said: “If you’re captured and can’t be rescued then you would want the RAF to come along and drop a very large bomb. A quick end is preferable to a long and painful death.”
The source also claimed that bombing any captured SAS soldier would be the “honourable thing to do”. Sources told the Daily Star Sunday that SAS troops have almost been captured on two occasions but managed to escape with the help of a US Reaper drone which halted a jihadi attack.
The source said: “As a member of the SAS you know that you are going to be executed by the enemy if you’re captured.
“That’s why we carry pistols. It’s our secondary weapon. But it also allows us the choice of topping ourselves when all hope has gone. Better that than giving away where your mates are operating.”