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Inside the world’s most fearsome special forces from Iraqi skull commandos to secret Russian death squads

IRAQ’s skull-faced commandos and Russia’s secret death squad are among the most feared special forces in the world.

ISIS has raged across the Middle East in recent years, but fanatical jihadists have been met with the wrath of some of the region’s most elite soldiers, who fought back to the end.

Special Forces in Iraq and Russia are among the most feared

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Special Forces in Iraq and Russia are among the most feared
Troops of the Golden Division wear skull masks, skull helmets, or skull insignia

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Troops of the Golden Division wear skull masks, skull helmets, or skull insignia
Team Alpha boasts by far the most extreme SAS fitness test - including a literal duel

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Team Alpha boasts by far the most extreme SAS fitness test – including a literal duelCredit: AFP via Getty Images

In the summer of 2014, the Golden Division, a US-trained special forces brigade, led a brave offensive to retake villages, towns, and cities until finally taking power. take control of the last IS stronghold of Mosul.

Also known as Iraq’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, hardened soldiers wear all black, with black helmets, while some wear skull masks, skull helmets or head badges. long.

Specializing in counter-terrorism and acting as a fine-tuned counter-terrorism machine, the Golden Division was formed by the US military shortly after the invasion of Iraq.

Soldiers are cherry-picked from the best ranks of the Iraqi security service and tasked with carrying out counterterrorism intelligence operations from the outset.

US General Mick Bednarek once described the Golden Division as the “leading sled dog” in the fight against ISIS – with each member receiving rigorous training as a US Ranger.

General Talib Shaghati al-Kinani, commander of the Golden Division, described a fierce mission carried out by a special forces fighter by a special forces fighter whose family was brutally murdered by ISIS. .

“He lost everyone,” he said to Independent. “So he decided to infiltrate Isis. He wears a beard and dresses like them.

“After being with them for a week, he blew up the whole place. The heroes of the Golden Division have accomplished many things.”

He added: “At one point we asked for another 1,000 recruits, but 312,000 applied.

“This is because they love the CTS and they know it’s the force that defeated ISIS.”

Showing discipline clearly superior to other Iraqi units, these soldiers even enjoy celebrity status, with a Facebook page that has more than two million followers.

GROUP ALPHA

Meanwhile, Russia’s infamous Alpha Corporation is part spy network, part counterterrorism team, part commando – and truly terrifying.

For starters, Alpha Group boasts by far the most extreme SAS fitness test – including a hand-to-hand fight that is literally the ultimate mission.

The squad gained notoriety for leading the attack on the presidential palace in Kabul during Russia’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.

A special operations officer involved in the raid said commanding officers ordered soldiers to massacre everyone in the building.

Rustam Tursunkulov told the BBC: “We were trained to accept orders without question. I was in the special forces – it was the worst job.

“In any army there must be people who do the toughest, most gruesome missions.”

In a brutal show of force in 1979, commandos shot dead a young Soviet Ukrainian named Yuri Vlasenko, who was occupying a room in the US Embassy in Moscow, demanding to be refugee in the US.

And throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Alpha Group carried out a number of takedowns against terrorists, insurgents, and kidnappers.

The elite team played a key role in the Russian government’s offensive to end a series of mass hostage crises.

Commandos targeted CIA agents and spies and led the raid against the hijackers of Aeroflot Flight 6833 in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1983, killing three of the airmen. thief.

And in October 1995, the team killed an armed man who hijacked a bus full of Korean tourists in Moscow, who demanded $1 million and was kicked out of the country.

It is also claimed that Team Alpha fought in the civil war in Ukraine, according to photos obtained by The Daily Beast.

The Soviet KGB formed the 30-man Alpha Group in 1974 in response to the Black September attacks at the Munich Olympics two years earlier.

The crack commando was formed in the aftermath of the defeat, but the group quickly assumed a broader role in counter-terrorism.

Alpha Group survived the collapse of the Soviet Union and now operates under the auspices of the Russian Federal Security Service – the successor to the KGB – with about 700 elite soldiers.

Although little is known about the exact nature of the group’s directives, it is thought that the unit was ordered by top Russian political leaders.

‘MAN OF SURPRISE’

Back in the Middle East, Afghan commandos trained by SAS swear to fight until their “last drop of blood” to regain their country from the Taliban after taking over in August.

Trained by soldiers from the US and UK – reportedly including the SAS – the soldiers were considered the best of the best and managed to hold the line.

But the elites are up against the Taliban special forces fighters, who have been arrest and blindfold an ISIS suspect before driving him away in a military jeep.

And in Israel, the Shayetet 13, the Israeli Navy’s special operations unit, is extremely adept at counterinsurgency, maritime sabotage and search and rescue.

It is one of the oldest and most respected special forces in the world – on par with the US Navy.

This unit – also known as “the silent ones” – is one of the most secretive in the Israeli military, and the details of its mission and the identities of its active agents are kept private.

Iraq's elite counter-terrorism force wears all black

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Iraq’s elite counter-terrorism force wears all blackCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Soldiers of the Golden Division are cherry-picked from the best ranks of the Iraqi security service

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Soldiers of the Golden Division are cherry-picked from the best ranks of the Iraqi security serviceCredit: AFP via Getty Images

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16907545/worlds-most-fearsome-special-forces-iraq-russia/ Inside the world’s most fearsome special forces from Iraqi skull commandos to secret Russian death squads

Huynh Nguyen

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