SAS on ‘standby in Cyprus’ to rescue Britons in Gaza

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Elite SAS troops are now on ‘standby’ in Cyprus, awaiting to rescue British hostages held captive by Hamas and Britons who are trapped in Gaza.

The top British Army soldiers are reportedly expected to launch an operation to rescue UK nationals who have been stranded in the Middle East war zone.

The UK Foreign Office has said that around 200 Britons are stuck in Gaza – with five British people being held captive by Hamas terrorists.

Britain operates two military bases — RAF Akrotiri and Dhekelia — in Cyprus.

The SAS sabre squadron, which is based in Cyprus, has now been joined by a crisis command team which comprises 100 soldiers, the Sun reported.

SAS legend Chris Ryan told MailOnline he ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if British special forces were preparing for the daring rescue operation.

He claimed the crack squad of operators could launch by helicopter from the British base in Cyprus or one of two British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships stationed in the Mediterranean.

But the survivor of the Gulf War’s infamous Bravo Two Zero mission told MailOnline that any such rescue operation would be fraught with danger.

“Hostage rescue is something the SAS is probably the best in the world at, but this situation in Gaza is unique in terms of trying to locate the hostages and find safe passage out,” he added.

“Finding the right stronghold where hostages are being held will be tough – then you have to safely move to that location, find the hostage, then leave.

“From a planning perspective, it will be a complete and utter nightmare. It could end in disaster.”

Alongside the SAS in Cyprus is the Special Forces Support Group with a fleet of modified helicopters.

A source told the Sun that they would “expect” the UK to use its permanent bases in Cyprus when there is a crisis of this nature in the region.

The MoD ‘refused’ to comment on the details of Special Forces operations when approached by the Sun.

Since 2011, the UK special forces have reportedly been used on just three hostage rescue missions – in Kenya, Nigeria and Yemen.

The SAS is reportedly working with Israel’s elite Sayeret Matkal force and the US Delta Force to collect intelligence that could lead to hostage rescue attempts.

Hostages have been held as human shields in tunnels, apartments, buildings and military bases to deter Israeli attacks. (source UK media)