Formed in 1952, the Indonesian Army’s feared special forces group quickly established a bad name for themselves by spearheading government military campaigns.
Famous ops: In 1981, an Islamic extremist group hijacked Garuda Flight 206. After the aircraft landed, Kopassus commando executed a fast-paced operation, killing three hijackers and freeing 50 passengers.
4. Sayeret Matkal
The elite special forces of the Israeli defence force are experts in small arms, martial arts and gathering intelligence from deep behind enemy lines. These days they’re kept busy with counter-terrorism gigs and hostage rescue.
Famous ops: Best known for Operation Entebbe, a rescue mission to free hostages held on Air France flight 139 at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport in 1976. One Israeli soldier, 45 Ugandan soldiers, six hijackers and three hostages were killed in the operation, which at least managed to free 100 hostages.
3. The Kaibiles
Guatemala’s fearless counter revolutionary commando forces are experts in jungle warfare and counter insurgency ops. Established in 1975, their motto is, “If I advance, follow me. If I stop, urge me on. If I retreat, kill me.”
Famous ops: Eight Kaibiles were killed and five wounded in an ambush in Congo as part of a UN peacekeeping force. The dead soldiers were part of a botched operation to capture the deputy commander of Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army.
2. Alpha Group
Russia’s trigger-happy counter-terrorist squad of 700 hardcore dudes, formed in 1974 and survived despite the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Famous ops: The 2004 Beslan school hostage rescue crisis, where 1200 hostages were held by Chechen separatists ended with 31 dead terrorists. A good result except they also terminated more than 350 civilians.
1. U.S. Navy SEALs
The United States Navy SEa, Air and Land (SEAL) teams are renowned for their ability to work underwater and deal with special reconnaissance, counter terrorism, hostage rescue and unconventional warfare.
Famous Ops: A team authorised by Barack Obama killed Osama bin Laden in his compound in Pakistan. Three Navy SEALs also killed three Somalian pirates when they held a captain hostage.
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