Five SAS soldiers arrested in UK over alleged war crimes in Syria

6 March 2024, 07:50 | Updated: 6 March 2024, 09:53

Five SAS soldiers have been arrested in the UK
Five SAS soldiers have been arrested in the UK. Picture: Ministry of Defence

By Emma Soteriou

Five SAS soldiers have been arrested in the UK over alleged war crimes in Syria.

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It has been claimed the soldiers shot dead a suspected jihadist they believed was planning to carry out a suicide attack.

But senior officers have claimed they used excessive force and should have arrested him instead, according to the Daily Mail.

A suicide vest had been found nearby but the suspect was not wearing it when he was killed, an SAS source told the paper.

The incident took place two years ago.

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The Defence Serious Crimes Unit launched an investigation into the allegations, with a recommendation of murder charges later being sent to the Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) - the military equivalent of the CPS.

If the men are charged, they will have to appear before a court martial.

In a murder trial, it is expected that they would remain anonymous and provide testimony from behind screens.

All five are understood to have been allowed to remain in service while their case is investigated.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it would not comment directly on the investigation.

A spokesman said: "We hold our personnel to the highest standards and any allegations of wrongdoing are taken seriously.

"Where appropriate, any criminal allegations are referred to the service police for investigation."

It comes as a public inquiry is continuing into claims that SAS soldiers killed around 80 Taliban suspects in Afghanistan.

There are also claims that troops falsified mission reports between 2010 and 2013.

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