British special forces operating on the front line alongside rebels in Syria near the Jordanian border, British media reported Monday, citing rebel commanders.
According to The Times, UK special forces have been defending a rebel unit against ISIS attacks. It’s the first evidence of the troop’s direct involvement involvement inside Syria. The British special forces units based in Jordan cross the border and assist the New Syrian Army (NSA) to defend the southeastern Syrian village of Tanf from ISIS.
“They helped us with logistics, like building defences to make the bunkers safe,” NSA 1st Lt. Mahmoud Saleh told The Times.
The Times also reported that, recently, the NSA base had been hit by a suicide bomber and British units helped to rebuild it.
UK Ministry of Defense did not return The Times’ request for comment on the direct involvement of its special forces in Syria.
The NSA is a rebel group composed of Syrian Arab Army defectors. It was founded in November 2015. The group reportedly seeks to expel ISIS from eastern Syria and recieves training and assistance from the US and the UK.