15. Operation Nimrod
Operation Nimrod was the first military rescue mission in history to receive Live TV coverage. On April 30, 1980, six members of the ‘Democratic Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Arabistan‘ took 26 people hostage at the Iranian Embassy in Britain. Hours after they stormed the embassy, the terrorists demanded Live TV coverage, in addition to the release of 91 other DRFLA militants.
On May 5, when British officials were just about to budge, a gunman killed one of the hostages, tossing his body in the street. Since half of the world was watching, negotiating was no longer an option. But with 24 restrained civilians and six well-armed terrorists in the same room, even the best-case scenario was looking pretty grim for the hostages.
In an effort hailed as the “greatest special-op feat of the century,” SAS forces executed Op. Nimrod flawlessly, clearing the embassy in just 17 minutes. A swift entry caught the terrorist off-guard and they were neutralized before harming 23 of the 24 hostages. On top of that, they captured one of the terrorists alive.