SAS commandos are reported to have made a daring escape from Afghanistan while wearing burqas and pretending to be women.
The top secret operators reportedly donned the traditional dress and travelled hundreds of miles to reach the evacuation flight at the airport in Kabul.
Working alongside members of the Afghan security forces, the SAS troops managed to evade capture as the crossed a number of Taliban roadblocks, reports The Daily Star on Sunday.
It is claimed the unit of 20 soldiers hid under burqas as they enlisted a fleet of taxis to carry them from their secret base to Kabul.
The elite soldiers reportedly posed as women and waved Taliban flags as they claimed they were going to Kabul to welcome the terrorists as "heroic liberators".
And it is claimed once the group reached the safety of the British forces at the airport they rewarded themselves with a well earned cuppa.
SAS forces are known to have been operating on secret missions through Afghanistan, whether taking on terrorists or training security forces.
The group had reportedly been on a mission in the south of the country – but were warned no helicopter could reach them for evac.
Left with no choice, they opted to hide in plain sight and donned the burqas before they bought five taxis and headed to Kabul.
Afghan counter terror forces they were working with also volunteered to help them escape.
Taliban forces often require women to wear full burqas to match with their strict interpretation of Islamic law.
Women's rights are already being undermined in the country – with reports of females already being erased from public life, and a protest yesterday being met with a brutal crackdown.
So using this against them, the SAS forces knew the Taliban fighters would likely not check looking under their veils – especially if they claimed to be supporters of the militant group.
There were a few dicey moments but even the Taliban were reluctant to remove a burqa from a woman
Taliban forces had promised an amnesty and pledged to allow Westerners to leave the country – but there have been widespread reports of reprisals.
"The SAS team had been in Afghanistan for months and had been on a secret reconnaissance mission when everything went belly-up," the source told the Star.
“They were told to abort the operation and to get ready for an immediate extraction to Kabul.
“The troops ditched most of their equipment except for their weapons and ammo and covered themselves with the burqas."
Taliban’s vicious treatment of women
WITH stonings, beheadings and being shot with assault rifles at point blank range, the women of Afghanistan face being left to a horrific fate.
Women were brutally oppressed when then the militant group last controlled Afghanistan in the 90s – and this looks set to return.
Pictures from Kabul already show pictures of women being painted over, and many high profile females have already been withdrawn from public life.
Many women opted to flee the country – and those that remain have spoken of how they have been left in fear for their lives.
During the group's five year rule throughout the 90s women were left housebound, only being able to leave with a male chaperone and while wearing a full burqa.
"The face of a woman is a source of corruption", according to the Taliban.
Women are banned from working, banned from education over the age of 8, restricted from seeing doctors and face the constant threat of flogging or execution for any breaches of "moral" laws.
Already there have been reports of girls as young as 12 being married off to fighters, a woman being shot for wearing "tight clothes", and women being told they cannot leave home without a male chaperone.
Taliban militants in 2016 beheaded a woman for going shopping alone while her husband was away from home in the village of Larri.
Footage from 2012 captured Taliban militants shooting a woman named Najiba, 23, in the back of the head as she sat in a ditch in Qol.
While another horrific video showed another woman named Rokhshana, 19, being stoned in a shallow grave in Ghor in 2015.
Najiba was accused of adultery, while Rokhshana was accused of having sex with her boyfriend outside of marriage.
Video captured earlier this year showed an unnamed woman screaming as she was whipped by a Taliban fighter accused of talking to a man on the phone.
And in one of the most infamous pictures ever captured of Taliban brutality, a woman named Zarmina, a mum-of-five, was executed in the middle of a football stadium in Kabul in 1999.
Zarmina's death was watched by 30,000 spectators as she cowered beneath her veil – showing the terrifying normalisation of violence against women under the Taliban.
And meanwhile, Bibi Aisha had her nose and ears cut off by the Taliban when she tried to flee after being married off at 14.
The source added: "Every time they came to a road block an Afghan special forces soldier explained that the women were very devout and wanted to welcome the Taliban back into Afghanistan.
“There were a few dicey moments but even the Taliban were reluctant to remove a burqa from a woman.”
Once they arrived in Kabul, they got as close as possible to the airport before abandoning the vehicles.
And they managed to sneak their way through several more checkpoints before finally revealing themselves to the US troops guarding the gate.
The SAS sergeant reportedly marched by to one of the soldiers and simply told him "British special forces on operations".
And the commandos were then ushered away and they were taken into a room where they were put in touch with the Brits.
JOB WELL DONE
“When asked whether they needed anything, the sergeant major replied that 'a cup of tea would be lovely'," the source said.
British, American and other allied forces defeated the Taliban in 2001 after they allegedly harboured al-Qaeda terrorists who plotted the World Trade Centre attacks on 9/11.
Western nations have spent 20 years trying to rebuild Afghanistan as a new democratic government was installed and brutal laws enacted by the Taliban were ended.
However, the occupation was under constant attack from terrorist forces – and US President Joe Biden had declared his desire to end so-called "forever wars".
Some 20 years of work was undone in a matter of weeks as the Taliban surged back to power – sometimes unopposed – and recaptured Kabul as Western forces boarded evacuation planes.
US President Joe Biden in particular is facing heavy criticism over the botched handling of the withdrawal in what is being described as one of the biggest foreign policy disasters since the Vietnam War.
However, resistance forces holding out in Afghanistan's final free district, the Panjshir Valley, are continuing to fight back against the Taliban.
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