Operation Marlborough

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Operation Marlborough
Part of Iraq War
Date July 2005
Location Baghdad, Iraq
United Kingdom SBS Iraqi insurgents
Casualties and losses
None 3 dead

Operation Marlborough was the code name of a mission carried out by M squadron Special Boat Service (SBS). The mission involved an SBS sniper team from Task Force Black,[citation needed] in Baghdad, Iraq in July 2005 with 16 men from G Squadron SAS, Special Air Service (SAS). The SBS sniper teams were each armed with .338 Lapua Magnum chambered L115A AWM sniper rifles. Escape routes were watched by the remaining members of the group in case of immediate emergency or escape if and when needed. As back up, Task Force Red, a Special Forces Support Group quick reaction force, was nearby.[1] The sniper team's mission was to kill terrorist insurgents wearing suicide vests laden with explosives that intended to target cafes and restaurants frequented by members of the Iraqi security forces, as gathered by intelligence obtained by Iraqi double agents working for the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the CIA.[2]


A similar AWM used by the SBS sniper teams of Operation Marlborough

As the mission commenced, a United States predator spy drone (UAV) had the target building under video surveillance, sending its imagery back to the Task Force Black Headquarters. Listening devices had been placed inside the building and were being monitored by Arabic-speaking translators.[1]

The SBS and SAS troops arrived by a combination of RAF Pumas and Humvees. A unit of American Rangers acted as a cordon for the operation. The SBS hit the compound and were immediately faced with a suicide bomber, the bomber detonated too early to kill any of the commandos. As the SBS commandos started to room clear an RAF Puma with snipers on board took out another suicide bomber with their L115A3. The SBS also killed another suicide bomber in the house. The operation was the first major success for Task Force Black


  1. ^ a b "SBS – Operation Marlborough". Elite UK Forces. July 2005. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Sean Rayment (20 November 2005). "Revealed: SBS mission to kill a Baghdad suicide squad". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 17 August 2010.