London, Sep 12 (ANI): Troops from Britain's elite regiment, Special Air Services (SAS), have been training Libyan special forces for the last six months, despite Libya arming the Irish Republican Army, sources have said.
SAS troops are training soldiers of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime, which for years provided IRA terrorists with the Semtex explosive, machine-guns and anti-aircraft missiles used against British troops during the troubles in Northern Ireland.
The Telegraph quoted sources within the SAS as expressing distaste at the agreement, which they believe could be connected to the release of the Lockerbie bomber.
Britain's relationship with Libya has been under the spotlight since Abdelbaset al Megrahi was freed from a Scottish jail on compassionate grounds last month after being diagnosed as suffering from terminal prostate cancer and given three months to live. rime Minister Gordon Brown has faced claims that his Government helped engineer Megrahi's release to promote Britain's commercial interests, particularly energy, in Libya.
The disclosure that members of the SAS are training their Libyan counterparts will further raise suspicions about exactly what has been agreed behind the scenes between Tripoli and Britain.
It will also infuriate families of the Lockerbie victims and further sour relations with America. Earlier this week, President Barack Obama told the Prime Minister of his "disappointment" over Megrahi's release.
Defence sources said the training arrangement must have been given high-level political approval.
Members of Britain's elite regiment are angry at having to help train soldiers from a country that for years armed terrorists they fought against.
An SAS source said: "A small SAS training team have been doing it for the last six months as part of this cosy deal with the Libyans. From our perspective we cannot see it as part of anything else other than the Megrahi deal." (ANI)