Special forces

Former SAS Soldier Explains How Special Forces Trooper Helped Secure Kenyan Hotel

Phil Campion, a former SAS soldier, has given an insight into the operation.

A former SAS soldier has given Forces News an insight into how a Special Forces trooper reportedly helped secure a Kenyan hotel after it was sieged by Islamist militants, Al-Shabaab. 

The attack on the luxury hotel in Nairobi resulted in the death of 21 people, including a British man. 

It is understood a member of the SAS was involved in the mission, although the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said it does not comment on Special Forces.

Images showed a heavily-armed man with a military vest and balaclava working with local forces and helping victims leave the complex.

Security Forces Assist Militant Terror Siege In Nairobi Hotel PA IMAGES 160119
Security Forces assist militant terror siege in Nairobi hotel (Picture: PA).

It is thought the lone SAS member was involved in the operation, along with US Navy seals, was in the country to train Kenyan Special Forces.

Kenyan security forces were also involved. 

Phil Campion, a former SAS soldier, gave an insight into the operation.

"Training would've kicked in almost straight away," Mr Campion, who served on many overseas operations, explained.

"I would imagine that at some stage there would've been some sort of, what we call, 'bonnet brief', where you sit down over a roof of a car and say 'look, this is going on'.

"There isn't a lot of time to start having a full plethora of arguments for and against, it's do what he did - get through the door and start sorting it out.  

"People (other SAS soldiers) might've done it in a slightly different way but at the end of the day, he took the bull by the horns and did what he was paid and trained to do."

Smoke rises from the blast area after an attack at an upmarket hotel and office complex in Nairobi (Picture: PA).
Smoke rises from the blast area following the attack (Picture: PA).

When asked what equipment the soldier was using, Mr Campion said: "He was obviously wearing a full set of body armour, what level of protection within that body armour I can't really tell because I can only see the cover, I can't see the plates.

"His weapon is a standard regiment assault rifle, it's a C4 - a variant of the M4 platform - it fires a 5.56 round, it had a silencer on it, it had various sights on it, issued sights for special forces and he's carrying a pistol."