Two British special forces soldiers have been seriously injured during clashes with ISIS fighters in the middle Euphrates River Valley in eastern Syria, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported at the late hours of January 5.
According to the available details, the British service members where hit with an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) fired by ISIS when they were operating around the town of al-Shaafah along with Kurdish fighters. Earlier reports said that most of the town have been liberated from ISIS.
“Due to a smart missile attack by ISIS, a fighter of the YPG was killed and another wounded, in addition to two British soldiers,” a spokesman for Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told Iraqi Kurdistan media group Rudaw.
The British soldiers were reportedly airlifted from the battlefield by U.S. forces and moved to a medical point to receive treatment.
The British media is speculating that the two service members were personnel of the Special Air Service (SAS), which is known to be operating in eastern Syria. However, the Ministry of Defense of the UK has not confirmed this so far.
Last March, two British and U.S. soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded inside of their unarmored vehicle in the SDF-held part of northern Aleppo. No one claimed the attack and the US-led coalition never provided any details about the incident.
This incident will likely have a direct impact on the U.S. decision to withdraw its troops from Syria. Recent reports suggest that Washington is already planning to manipulate the decision in order to maintain a military presence of some sort in the war-torn country.