Further war crimes by Australian SAS forces exposed

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Further war crimes by Australian SAS forces exposed

Post by loomer » 2020-05-27 01:07am

Fellow soldiers say the SAS operative filmed shooting an unarmed man killed another civilian
An Australian SAS operator is under investigation for killing an Afghan man his comrades say was an unarmed and intellectually disabled civilian, the ABC can reveal.
Key points:

"Soldier C" is currently being investigated for two allegedly unlawful killings in Afghanistan
He was stood down from duty after Four Corners aired 2012 footage of him killing an unarmed civilian
He was awarded the Commendation for Gallantry for his service in Afghanistan

The 2012 shooting is known as "the village idiot killing" among the special forces.

The ABC can also reveal the SAS soldier under investigation for this killing is the same man shown shooting dead a different unarmed Afghan man in video footage aired by Four Corners earlier this year.

Known as "Soldier C", he was stood down after the program and is now under investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for both of the killings.

ABC Investigations has spoken to two SAS patrol members, witnesses to the newly uncovered killing, who say the disabled man was shot in the back of the head as he was trying to "limp" away.

"Choppers have landed, this guy's ran. Fair enough. We were pretty intimidating," said one patrol member.

"He was obviously intellectually disabled. [Soldier C's] shot this f***er through the back of the head. And I remember it so clearly because his brain literally hit the ground before he did. It was just so unnecessary."

Another patrol member says he saw Soldier C raise his gun to get what he thought was a closer look at the "unarmed" Afghan man through the sight of his weapon.

"But being that close, I thought that it was unusual that he was raising his weapon, and then he let two shots off," said the patrol member.

"His head exploded. There was no need for what happened. No need whatsoever. In my book that was war crimes — murder."

ABC Investigations has tracked down the dead man's family and identified the victim as Ziauddin, a farmer in his early 20s from the Paryan Nawa region of Kandahar Province.

"Ziauddin had a mental illness … because two years ago the Taliban beat him," said his relative Kalimulla, who spoke to an Afghan journalist engaged by the ABC.

"Because of those beatings, he developed a mental problem."

Kalimulla says Ziauddin was unarmed when he was killed by the Australian patrol.

"There was a raid. [Helicopters] landed at about 11:00. He was about 80 to 100 metres away from where [they] landed. As [they] landed, he came towards home, he wanted to come home. He walked a distance but those people shot him," Kalimulla said.

"He was shot here around the back of his head … the bullet had pierced through his skull and his brains were spread away from his skull."

ABC Investigations can also reveal the so-called "village idiot killing" is being investigated by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF).

The IGADF is investigating more than 55 separate incidents of alleged breaches of the rules of war in Afghanistan by Australian special forces between 2005 and 2016.

The ABC understands the IGADF is in the final stages of compiling its report.

ABC Investigations has confirmed that the disabled Afghan man was shot and killed on March 28, 2012.

The ABC put a series of questions to Defence about the killing.

In response, Defence said it was not appropriate to comment "on matters that may or may not be the subject of the [IGADF's] Afghanistan Inquiry".

'That's clearly covering something up'

After the killing, another member of the patrol was then ordered to dress the dead man in a "battle bra" chest rig containing assault rifle magazines, the soldiers allege.

"The reason for that is that enables him to be identified as a combatant and you can engage him using lethal force," said one of the patrol members who spoke to the ABC.

A scan of the man's fingerprints and irises confirmed that the man was not matched to anyone on the special forces target list.

Back at their base in Tarin Kowt after the raid, the patrol was told during a debriefing that the dead man should be regarded as a "high-value target" and a legitimate kill.

But the two patrol members who spoke to ABC Investigations say this was an attempt to cover up the killing of an unarmed civilian.

"I knew that was a lie. Everyone there knew that was a lie," said one of the patrol members.

"That's clearly covering something up. He was not a high-value target at all. He was a disabled … local national, unarmed non-combatant [in his] early twenties."
IGADF and AFP investigating the 'wheat field killing'

Soldier C is also under investigation by the AFP and IGADF over the killing of an Afghan man in a wheat field in May 2012, broadcast last March by Four Corners.

Helmet-camera video shows the man in his 20s being mauled in the field by an SAS dog during a special forces raid near the village of Deh Jawz-e Hasanzai.

The vision then shows Soldier C standing over the Afghan and pointing his assault rifle at the prone man from a range of 1 to 2 metres.

Soldier C then asked his superiors three times if they wanted him to "drop this c***" before he fired three rounds into the man's head and chest, killing him.

The ABC identified the victim as a local villager called Dad Mohammad.

After the Four Corners program, the Australian Defence Force stood Soldier C down, and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds referred the incident to the AFP for investigation.

The video obtained by the program is at odds with what ADF investigators were told during an earlier review of that shooting.

The investigators were told that Soldier C spotted a radio in the hand of Dad Mohammad and that he shot the Afghan from a range of 15 to 20 metres in self-defence.

Soldier C was later cleared by the investigators, who ruled that Dad Mohammad was lawfully killed because he was posing a threat to the SAS patrol.

ABC Investigations can reveal that Soldier C, who did multiple tours of Afghanistan, was awarded the Commendation for Gallantry for his service in that conflict.

The decoration is awarded "for acts of gallantry in action which are considered worthy of recognition".

Ziauddin's family in Afghanistan say they have never received an explanation or an apology from the Australian military for his killing.

Kalimulla says he would like to see the SAS soldier who pulled the trigger subject to village justice.

"I want the murderer to be shot and torn into pieces. That's what I want to be done to him."

What a surprise that the cunt responsible for the wheat field killing shot someone else. Just an absolutely unforeseeable shock. One of the alarming things I've seen rising to an increased pitch in Auspol discourse during the exposure of our forces war crimes is a fascistic worship of the troops and a refusal to question the legitimacy of any killing they engage in, which then usually blurs into genuine advocacy for genocidal war strategies and unrepentant xenophobia.

I wonder if I'll see the same faces spruiking 'you can't know the conditions on the ground!! Afghans want us all dead so who cares!!' when his comrades who were there are willing to say 'nah this was fucked'. Unfortunately, I suspect the answer is yes, because the unquestioning proto-fascist worship of soldiers that's been actively cultivated in this country under the last Labour and last three Liberal governments dictates that we view whistleblowers and colleagues who dissent over war crimes as disloyal dogs.
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Re: Further war crimes by Australian SAS forces exposed

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-05-27 11:58am

ABC Investigations can reveal that Soldier C, who did multiple tours of Afghanistan, was awarded the Commendation for Gallantry for his service in that conflict.

The decoration is awarded "for acts of gallantry in action which are considered worthy of recognition".
Hey I wish I had the courage of shoot an unarmed cognitively impaired man in the head. :roll: Maybe the Australian government will give me a commendation too.

On another note, last year the AFP has raided ABC's office in relation to the news outlet's investigation into the conduct of Australian soldiers.
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