DEFENCE Minister Marise Payne has defended the work of special forces in complex and chaotic environments while insisting the government is seriously examining claims soldiers may have committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
Senator Payne’s comments on Friday follow the publication of allegations raised in a confidential defence inquiry report obtained by Fairfax Media. The inquiry was told of unsanctioned and illegal application of violence on operations and disregard for human life.
The most disturbing part of the report details an incident in which an Australian special forces soldier allegedly kicked a handcuffed Afghan detainee off a cliff.
Fairfax stated the man, Ali Jan, was a shepherd and father of seven who had been rounded up as part of a search for a rogue Afghan National Army sergeant who had killed three Australian soldiers.