Fearless SAS hero who led charge into Kenya hotel during deadly terror siege to receive top medal – The Sun
A LONE SAS trooper who killed two terrorists in a hotel siege is to be honoured with a top bravery medal.
The soldier’s heroics for the Who Dares Wins unit helped save hundreds of lives in Nairobi, Kenya.
Sources confirmed his actions in Kenya have earned a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross — second only to a Victoria Cross — for valour in combat.
Incredibly the crack trooper only stormed into battle after US Navy SEALs begged for his help.
He burst into the DusitD2 hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, without back-up following a gun and grenade attack by al-Shabaab jihadis.
Their 19-hour siege in January left 21 dead, including British charity worker Luke Potter.
But the unnamed Who Dares Wins soldier killed two out of four gunmen, leading to the evacuation of 700 locals.
The Sun exclusively revealed his daring involvement, with footage showing him carrying a gunshot victim to safety.
Sources last night confirmed the brave trooper, who has served 18 years in 22 SAS, has been informed of his award.
The honour has not been officially announced but it is understood he will receive it from the Queen later this month.
Only around 60 such medals have been awarded — for “acts of conspicuous gallantry during active operations against the enemy”.
A senior insider said: “This is an incredible honour and truly deserved. What this man did will go down in the history of the SAS.
“Yet it nearly didn’t happen after a row on the ground.”
As the body count rose a US Navy SEAL team sought out the SAS man, whose identity The Sun is protecting.
Within minutes of being cleared to pounce he shot dead the first terrorist from behind a wall.
The insider added: “When it all kicked off he was working with the Kenyan Armed Forces.
“They were being mentored by SEALs and they had jurisdiction.
“But there was a critical pause among the Yanks as they waited for the green light to go in. They knew the score.
“People were dying, and they knew they had a man in their midst who could turn the tide. He had to go in.
“He got on the blower to the UK High Commissioner who gave the go ahead and he went straight in.
“No hesitation, no flinching, no thought for his own safety, straight into the eye of the storm.
“Within minutes he’d dropped the first terrorist. It turned the tide, there was a surge of confidence through the mission.”
The hero shot dead a second gunman before Kenyan security forces cornered the other two in the sprawling complex.
After a stand-off stretched into the night the remaining duo were killed, ending the siege.
As well as hunting down the gunmen, the SAS legend was pictured saving innocents fleeing the terror.
A source said at the time: “The SAS don’t miss. There’s no doubt his actions saved lives.”
Insiders revealed the ex-Para has been at the forefront of counter- terror missions worldwide, as well as racking up kills in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
He was on a training-and- mentoring mission in Kenya when the terror attack erupted on January 15.
It began when a suicide bomber detonated himself in front of a restaurant in the first phase of a complex terror attack, which was captured on CCTV.
Around the same time a car pulled up at the entrance and four men armed with grenades and AK-47s poured out.
They blew up three cars then split into pairs before heading through the complex firing indiscriminately at locals.
Within ten minutes police, including Kenyan Special Forces, arrived. Kenyan counter-terror cops being advised by US Special Forces had assumed command of the operation.
But the US force had not been approved to act. As the firefight raged on, the SAS man mentoring the Kenyan troops then received the necessary orders and moved in.
Amid the chaos, he swept into the complex armed with a Colt Canada C8 assault rifle and Glock pistol on the hunt for the gunmen.
Incredible images showed the trooper bursting through doors, checking battle plans and aiding several of the injured.
In one image captured by news reporters the fighter was seen carrying to safety what appeared to be a male gunshot victim, with blood pouring from his back.
Moments later he clasped the hand of a woman as he ran her to cover. He was later seen double checking paperwork — believed to be battle plans — with Kenyan Special Forces operators as the siege raged on.
Another image captured the SAS man storming into a building to bust out locals who fled barefoot from the carnage.
Witness Joshua Kwambai, who had run out of a restaurant when the shooting started, said at the time: “This guy got there quick. He was one of the first there.
“He had on a mask but it was obvious he was white. We could see him talking to the police and army and they listened to him.
“They were looking at pieces of paper, maybe plans of the building.” Another witness, Lucy Njeri, added: “This man carried out one of the wounded then went back and did that again.
“There was a lot of confusion, lots of people running around, but he stood out because he was a foreigner. He was very brave.”
Al-Shabaab claimed the attack was “a response” to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The move last year overturned decades of US foreign policy and drew international criticism. Jerusalem is a sacred city in Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
While Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its indivisible capital, Palestinians claim the eastern part as the head of a future state.
January’s attack was a reminder of the 80-hour siege at the nearby Westgate shopping mall which left 67 dead in September 2013.
Sources last night confirmed the SAS trooper had been awarded a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, and that the hero has been told.
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The medal is among others in the upcoming Operational Honours list which is expected to be published by the end of this month.
The gongs were due to be unveiled in September but delayed by Brexit voting and the General Election announcement.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “We do not comment on Special Forces.”
FOR COURAGE IN BATTLE
By Emma James
THE Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) is second only to the Victoria Cross for battlefield heroism.
Created in 1993 it can be awarded to every rank from the Army, Navy and RAF.
The first recipient in 1995 was Corporal Wayne Mills, of 1st Battalion, Duke of Wellington Regiment, for his actions in Bosnia.
Corporal Dipprasad Pun, with the Royal Gurkha Rifles, was awarded the honour after he defeated up to 30 Taliban insurgents in 2010.
The medal features a silver cross and laurel wreath. It is mounted on a white ribbon with blue and crimson stripes.
The Special Air Service (SAS) was created in World War Two to drop paratroopers behind enemy lines.
The cap badge is King Arthur’s sword Excalibur surrounded by flames. Motto Who Dares Wins is written on the front.
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