UK’s Daily Mail newspaper published an article on Wednesday about the Rangers, who were formed just two years ago, training up in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon as there is the risk that “Britons in countries such as Lebanon could be taken hostage by the likes of Iran-backed Hezbollah,” said The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Patrick Sanders.

These Rangers are also training to mount an airlift operation alongside the Royal Air Force for saving Britons trapped in Gaza since the war started on October 7.

Detailed plans remain secret to ensure an element of surprise, but the Army’s top officer has provided an overview, according to The Daily Mail.

General Sir Patrick confirmed British troops were “posturing” for “non-combatant extraction operations” in parts of the region. The role could include saving Britons trapped in Gaza. Fears persist that Hamas could use foreign citizens, Britons and US passport holders as human shields, revealed the newspaper. Despite the Rafah Crossing from Gaza into Egypt being partially opened, many UK citizens have been unable to get out.

There is also the risk that Britons in countries such as Lebanon could be taken hostage by the likes of Iran-backed Hezbollah. General Sir Patrick told British MPs on Tuesday, November 7, “Clearly there is a prospect, if the conflict does expand, of a non-combatant extraction operation. We are posturing ourselves for that.”

“We are [also] exploiting the network we have, so, for example, we have our special operations forces, the Rangers, in Lebanon. They have built up a very close relationship with the Lebanese armed forces.”

“That provides an insight and influence on to Lebanese decision-making and seeing things from the other side of the northern border, which clearly concerns Israel.”

He added that the UK was also seeking to reassure partner nations and prepare for humanitarian operations such as setting up field hospitals and delivering aid supplies.

General Sir Patrick stressed that it was unlikely UK troops would be “drawn into combat or conflict” directly and that military planners would “seek to avert that.” An airlift could be mounted alongside Lebanon’s air assault troops who have trained with British airborne forces. Much of the training has taken place in the country’s Bekaa Valley.

The presence of British troops so close to Israel is also intended to “deter” Iran from entering the conflict directly, General Sir Patrick told the Commons defense committee, according to the Daily Mail.

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