Lebanon military
Lebanese army soldiers trained by UK instructors under a UK-funded program at their Hamat airbase, north of Lebanon, 2016.
The UK's elite forces are in Lebanon training to possibly conduct "rescue missions" to attempt to save British captives held in the Gaza Strip.

In preparation for potential "rescue missions" to retrieve British Hamas-held captives from the Gaza Strip, elite UK forces have been conducting training in Lebanon, according to a report published by the Daily Mail.

"Hundreds of elite UK troops are training in Lebanon to rescue Britons trapped in the Middle East warzone," the report noted adding that the operations "could include saving Britons trapped in Gaza."

Comment: It's unlikely that the sole focus of these elite troops will be to 'rescue Britons' - after all, the UK notoriously abandoned its own during, and after, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan - and, instead, it's more likely that they will be training for a more active role in Israel's genocide in Gaza, and the burgeoning conflict in the Middle East. However, this may, indeed, involve rescuing its special forces from the war that it is fomenting.

Note that it has since become clear that Western troops were fighting on the ground in Ukraine, with a number of its top generals dying on the battlefield.

"Clearly, there is a prospect, if the conflict does expand, of a non-combatant extraction operation. We are posturing ourselves for that," said the UK Chief of General Staff, Patrick Sanders, who spoke to British MPs in the House of Commons defense committee on Tuesday.

Sanders then added, "We are [also] exploiting the network we have, so, for example, we have our special operations forces, the Rangers, in Lebanon," stressing that "They have built up a very close relationship with Lebanese armed forces," which could provide "insight and influence on Lebanese decision-making and seeing things from the other side of the northern border, which clearly concerns Israel."

Sanders remarked that the UK forces seek to "avert" being "drawn into combat or conflict," in an attempt to reassure allied countries.

Moreover, the General alleged that the UK forces currently in Lebanon aim to deter Iran from joining the war.

US Embassy in Beirut new regional intelligence headquarters: Report

A report published by Intelligence Online in May suggested that the United States is eager to maintain its presence in Lebanon through its 93,000-square-meter embassy complex that is currently under construction on a 27-hectare site in the town of Awkar.

According to the website, the new $1bn mega-complex will include a data-collecting facility, preparing the site to be the new regional headquarters for US intelligence.

It highlighted that due to its closeness to Syria, "Lebanon is considered both a safe and strategic location for deploying intelligence agents already present in the region as well as new personnel, drawn directly from Washington-based agencies."

Intelligence Online added that "Washington intends to take advantage of its excellent intel-sharing partnership - especially concerning Hezbollah - with the Lebanese Armed Forces' (LAF) military intelligence unit, B2."

"US funding of the LAF - it received another $60m last December - comes with a guarantee of unlimited Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) access to its intelligence." the website mentioned.