At least five British soldiers were killed in a rocket attack by ISIS in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor, according to a January 9th report by Syrian Arabic-language newspaper al-Watan.
The attack targeted the al-Shaafah village in Abu Kamal district of the province and several more soldiers were injured and airlifted to the coalition hospital in Hasakah, in northeastern Syria, according to the report.
As of the morning of January 10th there has been no confirmation on the side of the UK, but if true that would make it the second attack on British troops by ISIS within days.
On January 6th, two British Special Forces soldiers were injured in an ISIS attack, also in Deir Ezzor. A member of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was also reportedly killed in the attack.
A Ministry of Defense spokesman said: “We do not comment on special forces.” Thus, if there is an actual remaining British Special Forces operation in Syria, it is unconfirmed since British officials deny it, or rather refuse to provide a substantial comment.
Update on the two British soldiers injured in an Isis missile attack in Syria: They are both in a stable condition and two YPG fighters injured in same incident are also receiving treatment
Battles to drive Isis out of al-Shaafah, in Deir Ezzor, continuehttps://t.co/K1rIc9M7VS
— Lizzie Dearden (@lizziedearden) January 6, 2019
Furthermore, British Media reported that the rockets that injured the two soldiers in the January 6th incident may have been produced by the US and supplied to the “moderate” rebels, which it backs in Syria. Speculation is that the arms were subsequently sold to ISIS.
— Steve Sweeney (@SweeneySteve) January 7, 2019
On January 9th, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is the SDF’s core, reported that they had detained eight ISIS members of US, Russian, German, Tajik, Kazakh and Uzbek origins.
— Rojava Defense Units | YPG (@DefenseUnits) January 9, 2019
According to a report by the Daily Telegraph from the same day, a British family was also detained by the SDF. Citing unnamed Kurdish sources, the report claimed that “a mother and her two daughters – in their late 20s and travelling with young children – fled the town of al-Shafaa in eastern Deir Ezzor province late last week among other wives of ISIS fighters and local civilians.” They are under suspicion of being ISIS supporters.
If the latest capture is true, the number of British citizens detained by the SDF on allegations of being ISIS supporters is 13.