UK Special Forces are poised to drift away from counter-terrorism operations against Daesh* and focus on intelligence operations to counter foreign threats such as Russia, the BBC reported, citing unnamed UK officals and military sources.
“The counter-terrorist task is drawing down, while the need to confront dangerous international behaviour by peer adversaries is increasing”, one insider was quoted as saying.
Under this secret plan, allegedly dubbed “Special Operations Concept”, it is believed that the nature of modern warfare has changed, with less emphasis on conventional conflict and instead a pivot to confrontations between nations.
The proposal is being considered by senior military officers, who will likely advise the government to approve it, the news outlet’s security editor assumed.
The Defence Ministry, meanwhile, noted that it does not comment on the Special Forces.
Relations between Russia and the UK rapidly deteriorated in March 2018 after the British government accused Moscow of being responsible for the Salisbury poisoning, in which ex-GRU operative Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were exposed to what UK authorities claimed was the Novichok nerve agent.
Russia has vehemently denied the allegations, having offered assistance in the investigation instead – something which the UK refused to accept, as well as to provide samples of the substance allegedly used against the Skripals.
With the probe still underway, London ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats from the country over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the incident, prompting many other nations around the world to follow suit.
Even though medics initially said that the Skripal family was in critical condition and might never fully recover, both emerged from a coma that lasted over a month and were discharged from the hospital.
*Daesh, also known as ISIS/IS/ISIL/Islamic State, is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.