An off duty SAS soldier who helped defend civilians from a terrorist attack in Kenya will be recommended for the George Cross, it has been reported.
The honour is the second most prestigious medal for gallantry, behind the Victoria Cross.
A senior military source told The Telegraph they ‘fully expect’ him to receive it.
The source said: “This man has shown remarkable bravery. He has saved dozens of lives. You can fully expect him to receive one of the highest gallantry awards and most likely the George Cross.
“It won’t be announced. It will be given to him secretly.”
The identity of the man has also remained secret, in line with Ministry of Defence protocol.
The unnamed man is said to have been in the country to support and train the Kenyan Special Forces, when news broke of the attack at the hotel complex. Wearing jeans and trainers, the man strapped on body armour, donned a balaclava and picked up a rifle when the attack broke out on Tuesday.
According to reports in The Sun, the SAS operative stormed through the doors of the hotel in the capital city of Nairobi and is believed to have shot dead members of the militant group who had detonated explosive devices and shot innocent bystanders.
Pictures show him escorting hostages from the hotel before going back in to confront the terrorists.
One of the terrorists is reported to have detonated a suicide vest, while three accomplices threw grenades and went on a violent shooting spree, murdering at least 21 people, including one British man.
The attack is said to have been carried out by the al-Shabaab terror group.
Special forces veteran, Harry McCallion, praised the man’s actions.
Writing for the Daily Mail, he said: “Yesterday Britain was awestruck by the bravery of the off-duty SAS soldier in jeans, flak jacket and balaclava who’d grabbed his Colt Canada assault rifle, pistol and combat knife from his car while on an errand in Nairobi, and ‘run into danger’ to help victims of the Al Shabaab terrorist attack in the Kenyan capital.
“He saved lives, storming buildings, dragging people to safety amid the carnage of the devastating attack. And he fired off rounds at the fanatics, undoubtedly killing a number of them.
“Truly, a hero emerged from this tragedy. But as a former member of the Parachute Regiment, South African special forces and 22nd Special Air Service Regiment, I was not surprised by his behaviour. For he has been trained both mentally and physically to kill with ruthless efficiency.”
The Ministry of Defence told LADBible they could not comment on whether a member of British Special Forces was in fact involved in the rescue mission and were ‘unable to confirm or deny’ reports of the officer’s alleged actions in Kenya.
A spokesperson for the MOD said: “We cannot comment on issues to do with the Special Forces so we can neither confirm nor deny reports.”