Some sources, notably at MI6, were sceptical that Iran was directly HIS was no run- of-the mill bomb-maker.As the SAS prepared to hit his home in an affluent suburb north of Baghdad, it had discovered that his neighbours included a judge and a local police chief. But for British soldiers in daily action on the ground, the posters and pamphlets they came across made it obvious that Iran's Revolutionary Guards were, at the very least, providing inspiration for the insurgents, and probably much more too.ut the question of how to combat the Iranian terror masterminds who travelled between the two countries posing as 'consultants' remained a vexed one, since they were careful not to carry weapons or bombs themselves and used fake IDs.
A missile from a circling aircraft took out one of the houses from which gunfire was coming.
Another missile brought down the first building, and the target of the operation and a second man were seen running from the rubble into a neighbouring house.
The two suspected terrorists were killed - but so were at least seven civilians, three of them children.
The dead soldier, meanwhile, was Sergeant Nick Brown, who was very much a 'child of the regiment', having grown up in Hereford while his father was serving in the SAS.
With their more relaxed rules of engagement, the Americans would never have done so.
They would have hit the target from the air once they had evidence that the people inside were willing to fight.
Incidents like this showed how difficult the SAS's task had become.
Since 9/11, special forces soldiering was a high-intensity, deadly business involving face-to-face confrontation with some of the world's most ruthless terrorists.
Numerous mortar rounds and rockets had been found with recent Iranian markings. The Americans took some action, and in 2006 the White House quietly sanctioned the killing or capturing of Iranian nationals if they were engaged in targeting Coalition forces.
The British government, however, preferred to mend relations with Tehran rather than risk inflaming them, and it specifically forbade the SAS troops to arrest Iranians.
Now the SAS could return fire and they did so, with support from circling helicopters.