Egypt sends special unit 777 commandos to Libya

 

Egypt Special Forces-Unit 777

Egypt has sent special unit commandos to help opposition rebels groups in Libya fight to oust Kadaffi.

The rebellion against the Kadaffi dictatorship in Libya has not produced any official outside help, but Egypt has apparently sent some of its commandos in to help out the largely amateur rebel force. Wearing civilian clothes, the hundred or so Egyptian commandos are officially not there, but are providing crucial skills and experience to help the rebels cope with the largely irregular, and

Unit 777 insignia

mercenary, force still controlled by the Kadaffi clan. There are also some commandos from Britain (SAS) and American (Special Forces) operators are also believed wandering around, mainly to escort diplomats or performreconnaissance (and find out who is in charge among the rebels).The Egyptian commandos come from Unit 777, a force that was established in the late 1970s, but underwent some ups and downs in the next two decades before achieving its current form. Today, the 250-300 -man Unit 777 is a significantly improved force. They fall under the command of the Army Commando Command, both of whom are based in Cairo. Unit 777 trains with the help of the German GSG-9, French GIGN, and American Delta Force commandos. All Unit 777 members are qualified in static-line (low altitude) airborne operations, and possibly with HALO (high altitude jumps) as well. The primary operations of Unit 777 involve the suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic radical groups. There have been rumors that Unit 777 has conducted cross-border operations, although this cannot be confirmed. If not, this foray into Libya would be the first one. The foreign commandos who have worked with Unit 777 all agree that the Egyptians have become quite competent, especially when it comes to counter-terror operations.

Unit 777 (Arabic: الوحدة 777 قتال), also known as Task Force 777, is an Egyptian military counter-terrorism and special operations unit created in 1977 by the government of Anwar Sadat in response to concerns of increased terrorist activity following the expulsion of Soviet military advisors from the country by Sadat and his efforts to achieve peace with Israel.  The unit actively trains with a number of Western special operations groups, including the United States Army‘s Delta ForceUnited States Navy‘s SEALs, and the French GIGN.

Given their own protests at home, the Egyptian military has to handle this situation delicately. Egypt won’t lose much sleep at the idea of Qaddafi being overthrow. Both sides have been hostile to each other before.  In 1977, they briefly fought a three day war.  Their has always been underlying tension due to the fact that Libya, for thousands of years has been considered “part” of Egypt.  Add onto that Libya produces oil and there you have a recipe for disaster.

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