iranian embassy siege

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1980 Iranian Embassy Siege


On the 30th of April in 1980, six members of the Democratic Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Arabistan (DRFLA) executed a meticulously planned operation to storm the Iranian embassy, in order to take hostages as leverage to negotiate the release of Arabian prisoners in Khūzestān province of Iran and their own safe passage out of the UK. They initiated the plan after their own torture at the hands of the Iranians, and they wished to relieve their brothers of similar actions.

Prior to that day, they had conducted numerous recce operations on the embassy, on all days noticing an armed guard outside the front door. On the day of the storming, they split into two groups of three, approaching the building from the East and West sides. Upon bearing down upon the embassy, they noted there was no guard outside the main door, and furthermore, the inner security door was wide open in order to allow the abnormally high number of visitors to pass through unhindered. They took these occurrences as a sign from God that their mission was just and they should proceed. Trevor Lock was the policeman on duty at the embassy, covering for a colleague who had wanted the day off. It had been a busy day thus far at the embassy, and the doorman, Abbas Fallahi invited Lock into his tiny office for some delicious Iranian coffee, an offer which Lock accepted on a bitterly cold day. Had he not, he may have seen the gunmen coming and had a chance to lock the doors. But this unfortunate turn had meant there was no way of preventing the attack.

The six gunmen raced inside and started screaming in Arabic and waving their assortment of weapons, reported to be Vz.61s ad Browning Hi-Powers, about in order to gain attention control. Lock heard this from Abbas’ office and threw open the door, only to be greeted by Faisal. Faisal was the tallest and by far the most physical of the gunmen. He ordered Lock not to move, but undeterred Lock flung himself at Faisal. As the two men grappled on the floor, another of the gunman raised his Browning pistol, firing and a glass pane above the door, bringing hundreds of shards of razor sharp glass down upon Lock. This left a large gash on Lock’s cheek and numerous wounds above his eyebrows, which spewed blood into his eyes, effectively temporarily blinding him. Faisal then went about destroying Lock’s radio, none of the gunmen realising that Lock had already got a panic call out. By great coincidence, merely streets away was PC Dusty Gray, a dog handler, but who also happened to be an ex-member of D Squadron 22 SAS. Gray passed the message on around the rest of the net; “Armed terrorists have attacked the Iranian embassy, all available units respond”.


After 5 days of negotiation, and the unfortunate execution of Abbas Lavasani, a temporary employee at the embassy, the go-ahead was given by the at-the-time Prime-minister Margaret Thatcher to send in the SAS. Prior to this incident, the SAS had remained very much under the radar. Their service was known in the Second World War, but very little after that. Since WWII the SAS had been engaged in the Malayan Emergency, the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation, the Dhofar rebellion, Aden emergency and their services were ongoing with the Northern Irish Troubles. Operation Nimrod, as it was codenamed commenced at 19:23 on the 5th of May 1980. The attacking force was split between red and blue teams. Red team would abseil down in two groups, while blue team would enter via the detonation of explosives placed by an MOE team. The charge being placed by none other than the legendary John McAleese (see a previous post for more details.

Their assault was a tremendous success, 5 of the 6 captors were killed with one captured, only one, though tragically, hostage was lost during their raid and only one of the some 35 raiding soldiers was injured. 

Picture 1 shows the first group of red team preparing to abseil, with the second group assisting with equipment.
Picture 2 shows red team abseiling down the side of the embassy.
Picture 3 shows red team entering the embassy as another member abseils down.
Picture 4 shows two reserve soldiers, weapons at the ready, should any gunmen flee via the rear entry. The top soldier is wielding an MP5SD (and also appears to be a radioman) with the other soldier wielding an L9A1 Browning Hi-Power 9mm.
Picture 5 shows the gunmen’s leader, Salim, dead in the Chargé d'Affaires’ office after being shot by SAS soldiers.
Picture 6 shows Fauzi Nejad after his capture. He initially managed to escape with hostages during the confusion and mass panic of the evacuation, however he was later identified by SAS and hostages.
Picture 7 shows the fire damaged embassy front where McAleese made his entry, the building subsequently caught fire after the breaching.

This raid by the SAS set the textbook for other special forces to follow, and is to be considered a great success carried out by the old school operators of one of the world’s most elite fighting forces.

-Elliot

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S.A.S Flick about the Iranian Embassy Siege?!

H Y P E 
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wakeupontheprongssideofthebed  asked:

How would a character (with military training) deal with getting flash-grenaded? If they saw it thrown into the room, would they have time to recognize it, turn away, and cover eyes/ears? Would this help mitigate the effects of the flash-grenade? If not, how do they recover the quickest, minimizing their own vulnerability?

Grenades in general are fickle little beasts. You can have all the training in the world on them and they’ll still probably surprise you now and then. They’re more likely to dud than traditional grenades (for some reason) so there’s always that hope.

The M84 flashbang or stun grenade is supposedly supposed to go off within about one and a half to two and a half seconds after deployment. When an object is falling/traveling to a location, those miliseconds can be really critical. You might have that split second or two to react or you might have no time at all. It’s really up in the air. 

If you’re being flashbanged outside, that’s better odds for you. If you’re being flashbanged in a closed environment, there’s very little you can do to avoid the effects completely; the best you can do is make efforts to not be permanently disabled from it. Flashbangs are considered non-lethal, but they’re most certainly not non-damaging. There’s a misconception that flashbangs are mostly harmless and are only used to distract, (thanks, CS:GO) but actually they can cause permanent hearing damage/deafness/tinnitus (ringing in the ears) eye damage, brain damage, limb loss, severe burns, and in the right circumstances they can straight up kill someone. Flashbangs caused fires during the 1980 Iranian Embassy Siege in London, and there’s been cases of people losing limbs to close contact with flashbangs.

Hubby remembers flashbang training better than I do so the rest is all basically his doing. 

In addition to its titular “flash,” flashbangs work by releasing a wave of concussive force, basically a wave of high pressure. This is why you can’t really “avoid” a flashbang in a closed environment because there’s no defensive maneuver you can do to avoid pressure. 

The most important thing to remember when being flashbanged is that you open your mouth. Flashbangs go off at about 170 decibels, which is 20 decibels more than the amount needed to rupture your eardrums. The chart I saw said that a jet taking off 25 meters away at 150 decibels would rupture your eardrums; imagine 20 decibels more than a jet engine taking off five feet from your head. 

There is nothing you can do as a person to protect your ears from this. The pressure will affect your ears no matter what, so your body needs to both release the pressure and try to recover equilibrium after getting hit by the wave, because the blast will disturb the fluid in your ears (the stuff that maintains your sense of balance) and make you all wibbly-wobbly fuckity-uppity. If your mouth is closed and you cover your ears or plug your ears, your eardrums will be very wrecked and you may be brain-damaged as a result of all that concussive force having no escape route. 

The flash of a flashbang basically turns on all of your photoreceptors so that your eyes are just like, 100% all the light, so the flash seems more intense and blinding. Even closing and protecting your eyes, your eyes are still sensitive to pressure, so if the flash doesn’t get you it’ll still send a wave of concussive force through your face and your eyes will still be like “why.”

Hubby says if we were to encounter a flashbang, we should cover our eyes, face away from the grenade, and open our mouth. Since there’s nothing we can do about our ears and plugging them would actually make the aftermath significantly worse, at least this will prevent major damage to your eyes, even though they’ll still be affected. Depending on proximity you may be deaf for a few seconds to a few minutes, although depending on eardrum damage your hearing might never fully recover. In an enclosed space you’ll probably be bleeding from the ears. Even if the flashbang goes off in another room, you might avoid the blinding effects but the concussive force would still hit you and at least disorient you/make your ears ring. Even if you took cover like behind a wall or something, you’ll still be affected, although not as severely. (fun fact: indoors the flashbang can blow out windows)

Your eyesight should return within a minute but it’ll be not very good for about/up to an hour after contact. You’ll be so stunned, blind, deaf, and off-balance that you honestly might not be able to do…anything. I don’t think there’s actually anything you can do to recover quickly from a serious flashbang encounter. Equilibrium is so incredibly important and having been stripped of that you can’t walk, run, crawl, climb, possibly even hold your weapon.

Obviously the actual effects depend on the proximity, the enclosed space, the soldier themselves, like…too much to count. You might be lucky enough to be up and moving again in a few minutes or you might be out for the count. Flashbangs are damn dangerous. If your character gets flashbanged and needs to be moving again quickly, either they need to be 

1) Outside, several meters away, preferably behind cover
2) At least a room away from where the flashbang went off

I hope this is all helpful information! I’m sorry it took so long for me to answer this question.

-Kingsley

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Vintage Rescue

British SAS during the hostage rescue operation of the Iranian Embassy siege on May 5th 1980. Five of the six terrorists were killed, the last one was captured and served prison time. No SAS members were killed but one was wounded. Unfortunately two hostages lost their lives; one prior to the assault and one during the assault.

SAS British special forces having a picture with Prime Minister Margret Thatcher after they showed themselves to the world for the first time When they rescued hostages and killed 6 terrorists in the Iranian embassy that was under siege in London