Disturbing videos emerge of elite Australian soldiers shooting at civilians, joking about ‘kill quotas’ and watching as Afghan soldiers carry out a brutal beating
- Shocking footage of Australian special forces unit in Afghanistan emerged
- Footage shows them discussing quotas and firing at civilians from helicopter
- Another shows Afghan solider beating detained man as Aussie solders watch on
- Alleged conduct of the 2nd Commando Regiment now in the spotlight
- ADF maintains it does not use enemy casualty numbers as a measure of success
Elite Australian soldiers have been captured in disturbing videos while serving in Afghanistan joking about a ‘kill quotas’, shooting at unarmed civilians and watching brutal bashings.
The footage comes just two years the Brereton Inquiry released its findings that elite Special Air Service (SAS) officers were responsible dozens of unlawful killings and cover-ups from 2006-2015.
Now, serious questions have also been raised about the alleged conduct of the 2nd Commando Regiment in Afghanistan with the latest clips to resurface from late 2012 aired for the first time on Tuesday night.
In one video, Australian commandos preparing for an operation in Afghanistan can be heard discussing plans to meet a ‘kill quota’ of 10.
Another video shows an Afghani solider beating a detained men cowering on the ground with a stick while Australian commandos watch on.
A third clip set to music shows an Australian soldier in a moving helicopter in the air firing his assault rifle at what appears to be several unarmed Afghani civilians, who are seen on the ground ducking for cover.
Australian comrades from special forces unit 2nd Commando Regiment filmed themselves joking about a ‘quota’ while getting ready for an operation in Afghanistan
The ‘quota’ is mentioned up to a dozen times in the first 90 second video of soldiers getting ready for an operation.
‘What’s going to go tonight? Ready for ‘Operation Final Job’?’ one soldier asks a comrade.
‘There’s going to be some f***ing killing going on,’ he replies.
The cameraman turns to another commando.
‘We need primary kill team. What’s going to go down tonight?’
‘We’ve got a quota of 10. The quota is 10,’ he tells the cameraman.
‘Will we meet the quota?’
A third commando is asked if they would hit the quota tonight.
‘F*** yeah,’ replies his mate.
‘I’m going to kill a few dogs too!’
The video ends with the cameraman turning the lens on himself.
‘Final job. Signing out. We’re going to hit the quota.’
One soldier is captured on camera telling his comrade he’s confident they will hit the ‘quota’
The soldiers are filmed discussing their plans for ‘Operation Final Job’, including a ‘quota’
The footage has left their former comrades horrified who said any talk of a ‘kill quotas’ should be be stamped immediately.
‘You can’t even talk like that, frankly,’ one former senior officer told ABC’s 7.30.
‘That would be unacceptable to even joke about it. It’s just not on.’
Former military lawyer Glenn Kolomeitz holds the 2nd Commando Regiment in high regard having served alongside them.
But he admits the ‘quota’ video is disturbing and not a good look.
‘Though I don’t for a moment believe they are talking about some sort of kill quota,’ Mr Kolomeitz said.
‘These guys are joking around. They are about to go outside the wire and do a very hard job.
‘It doesn’t reflect well on our special operations forces. I’ve acted for many, many of these guys. The esteem in which I hold 2nd Commando doesn’t sit comfortably with what we’ve seen in that footage, put it that way.’
Mr Kolomeitz believes another video of a comrade in a helicopter shooting at Afghani civilians in residential compounds should be investigated further.
‘To me it appears some of these figures are actually trying get away and try to avoid from being shot,’ he told the program.
Another video shows an Australian commando shooting at Afghan civilians from a helicopter
‘They appear to be ducking from the dust and debris flying around him in that compound.
‘I can’t say it’s expressly outside the rule of engagement without knowing the context in which it took place, but just on the footage alone, it warrants a second look.’
A third video shows another Afghan civilians being detained by Australian soldiers after they found a two-way radio.
‘Get down now!’ one can be heard ordering one of the men.
Armed with a stick, an Afghan soldier is filmed repeatedly beating one of the detained men as the Australians watch on, not doing or saying anything.
Cowering on the ground, the civilian can be heard telling the solders he’s a farmer and insists the radio isn’t his.
‘This is the truth, look at my hands,’ he says.
Some of the commandos involved are now under investigation by Australia’s war crimes agency, according to the ABC.
A third video shows an Afghan soldier repeatedly beating a detained civilian with a stick as Australian comrades watch on
The Australian Defence Force insists it never approved the use of kill counts as a measure of success in Afghanistan.
‘The publicly released version of the Afghanistan Inquiry report briefly mentions ‘catch and release, and the kill count’ as one of the factors the presence of which may have contributed to an environment in which deviant behaviour [in the SAS] could take place and not be recognised,’ a spokesperson said.
In relation to the helicopter footage, the ADF said all members must comply with Rules of Engagement, which it says couldn’t discuss due to operational security reasons.
In relation to the civilian bashing, the ADF said its mission was to support the Afghan government to contain the threat of international terrorism and support the development of a ‘capable and sustainable Afghan defence force.’
The Brereton inquiry uncovered a staggering 39 unlawful killings, along with deceit and cover-ups, by 25 current or former SAS personnel.
A soldier in a helicopter was filmed firing at what appears to be Afghan civilians