The desert south of the 34° Latitude in Syria down to the 26° Latitude in Saudi Arabia is shown as Badiyat ash Sham in Syria, Jordan, and Iraq and An Nafud in Saudi Arabia. It is one of the bleakest and most inhospitable places on Earth. It is a barren, featureless wilderness - bitterly cold and wet in winter and raging hot in summer. Even the Bedouin have to struggle to survive as they roam, stateless, across the borders of all four countries. It's the desert in which the 1991 Gulf War was fought to remove Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Forces from Kuwait.
That Gulf War spawned a number of accounts about Special Forces’ missions, but perhaps, none so poignant as that of the eight-man SAS patrol, tasked to identify Scud missile launchers, of which only two men returned – one severely wounded and the other decorated for gallantry. After leaving the Army, one joined the British Intelligence Directorate and the other followed a career in commercial security which led to his appointment as Head of Security at Number 10 Downing Street. But the Syrian Desert hid the secret of what really happened to that eight-man SAS patrol. That secret would not be uncovered until a BID agent is shot and the dying gunman utters part of a name that makes no sense to anyone.