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The Guardian has learned that a number of serving British special forces soldiers, as well as former SAS troopers, are advising and training rebel forces, although their presence is officially denied.

The Guardian has previously reported the presence of former British special forces troops, now employed by private security companies and funded by a number of sources, including Qatar. They have been joined by a number of serving SAS soldiers.

They have been acting as forward air controllers – directing pilots to targets – and communicating with Nato operational commanders. They have also been advising rebels on tactics, a task they have not found easy.

For the SAS it is a return to old stamping grounds. In one of their first successful missions in the second world war, they attacked airfields in Libya, destroying 60 aircraft. SAS battle honours include Tobruk in 1941 and a raid on Benghazi in 1942.

Source: Richard Norton-Taylor for Guardian.co.uk.

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The Guardian has learned that a number of serving British special forces soldiers, as well…