Four hostages have been rescued by Special Forces who carried a long nighttime forced march and a firefight to release them. Oddly there are no ‘tense’ situation room scenes, nor ‘gutsy call’ statements from the leadership, and the only kudos apparent was given to the troops involved. A possible explanation might be; this one was carried out by the British SAS:
BRITAIN'S Special Air Service made a daring night-time march across the mountains in Afghanistan in a “breathtaking” operation to free the British aid worker Helen Johnston and three other hostages, David Cameron has revealed. … More than 10 of the heavily armed kidnappers were killed.The action was part of a joint UK/ US operation in which the American Special Forces attacked another area where it was thought hostages could be located:
The SAS opted for what Mr Cameron called their “long route march at night” because they did not want to tip off the hostage-takers by arriving in a helicopter. A helicopter raid to rescue another British aid worker, Linda Norgrove, in 2010 backfired disastrously. The Taliban panicked when they heard the helicopters and Norgrove was killed in the ensuing chaos. …
In a significant toughening of the government's stance towards those who kidnap Britons, Mr Cameron said the outcome served as a warning that such groups could expect “a swift and brutal end.”
A contingent of British and American special forces supported by a dozens more paratroopers had been flown by helicopter into the area early in the week. While the American special forces headed towards the cave complex, about 30 British SAS undertook a long march to the mud hut compound.
The Americans found a group of kidnappers in the caves and killed them. But there were no hostages.
At about the same time the British SAS came across all four hostages being held by the second group. Although the kidnappers were armed with heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s, the SAS killed them after a firefight.