A report about war crimes coming from the Australian military shocked the public. It found evidence regarding the unlawful killing of 39 Afghan farmers, civilians, and prisoners by Australian troops.
Chief General Angus Campbell of the Australian Defence Force shared on Thursday that the shameful record included alleged instances in which members of the new patrol would shoot a prisoner to achieve their first kill in practice known as the 'blooding.'
Campbell also mentioned that the soldiers would then plant weapons and radios to support false claims that the enemies killed the prisoners while in action.
According to NBC News, the chief general shared to the reporters in Canberra that the illegal killings began in 2009, with most of the occurrence happening in 2012 and 2013.
Campbell also stated that some elite Special Air Service members encouraged a self-centered culture of warriors.
Campbell also announced that the findings of a four-year investigation were by the judge and Army reservist Major General Paul Brereton, who was asked to look into the allegations. He interviewed more than 400 witnesses while also reviewing thousands of pages of documents.
Brereton also recommended 19 soldiers to be investigated by the police for possible charges, including murder.
On the other hand, Campbell apologized to the people of Afghanistan on behalf of the Australian Defence Force sincerely regarding any wrongdoing made by the Australian soldiers, Time reported.
Campbell also added that he had spoken directly to his Afghan military counterpart in expressing his remorse.
The chief general stated that such alleged behavior profoundly disrespected the trust placed in them by the Afghan people who have asked them to their land to help them.
He also mentioned that it would have devastated Afghan families and communities' lives and caused immeasurable suffering and pain.
The said mistake would have jeopardized their mission and the safety of their coalition and even Afghan partners.
Aside from the 39 killings, the said report also outlined two allegations of cruel treatment, but it states that none of the alleged crimes were committed in the middle of the battle.
Despite the known existence of the report, only portions of it were made public as many details, including alleged killers' names, remained redacted.
Based on the report, 25 current and former troops were involved and tagged as perpetrators or accessories to the crime in 23 separate incidents. Some were mentioned that they had been involved just once, while others were there a few times.
The report also stated that some of the Australian troops would regularly carry 'throw-downs,' which are things like foreign pistols, grenades, and radios that they could plant on those they killed so that Afghanistan would appear as combatants in the documented photographs, ABC News reported.
According to the report, most of the crimes were committed and concealed at the patrol commander level by sergeants and corporals. While higher-level squadron and troop commanders had to take responsibility for the incidents which happened on their watch, it was emphasized in the report that they were not primarily to blame.