“Australian military should own Afghan war crimes report”  


KABUL: An Australian top-brass military official on Sunday said that the Australian troops in Afghanistan must “own” the recent report regarding the country’s soldiers committing war crimes.

Defense Force Chief General Angus Campbell stated that he was willing to be held accountable for ensuring the report was dealt with thoroughly, pledging changes to ensure that such outrages didn’t happen again.

“I want the ADF (Australia Defense Force) to acknowledge that this is something we’ve got to own because if we don’t own it, we won’t fix it, and if we don’t fix it, this horror may appear again, and I just cannot accept that,” Campbell was quoted as saying by ABC television. 

“I see layers of responsibility here, I’m determined to see a deep, comprehensive, and enduring change where it is needed,” he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison has described a report into alleged war crimes committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan as “disturbing,” but said the allegations must be dealt with by the Australian justice system.

This comes as a report on Thursday revealed that the Australian troops in Afghanistan have unlawfully killed 39 civilians during the country’s operations as part of the coalition forces.  

The report found that between 2005 and 2016, senior commandos of the Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan forced junior soldiers to kill defenseless captives to “blood” them for combat.