Before SEAL Team 6 flew into Pakistan and took out Osama bin Laden, probably the most famous special operations raid in history was the British SAS assault on the Iranian Embassy in London in 1980. The embassy had been taken over by radical Iranian Arab terrorists, agitating for national sovereignty in the Khuzestan Province of southern Iran. Pretty obscure, right? Obscure, but very serious. The terrorists had a bunch of hostages and were willing to kill them.
The takeover culminated in a swift, efficient and effective assault by a counter-terrorism team of a unit scarcely anyone at the time knew existed — the British Special Air Service (SAS). The special forces unit had been founded in the North African desert in World War II and earned a reputation for dash and derring-do. By 1980, the SAS had become a counter-terrorism outfit of a type the U.S. and European nations developed after the debacle at the 1972 Munich Olympics, when Palestinian terrorists took hostage and ultimately killed members of the Israeli wrestling team. They were a secret unit — until they crashed the Iranian Embassy in front of international news cameras. After that, the SAS was the hottest and sexiest special operations force in the world. Books were written, movies were made.
Speaking of movies…
A new film titled 6 Days recounts the siege and the SAS assault. It hits British cinemas in August and I think we are expected to have it on Netflix sometime around then. Looks good.