Confronting moment an Australian SAS soldier shoots DEAD an unarmed Afghan man cowering in a wheat field in what’s been labelled a ‘straight up execution’
- The footage was taken moments after a group of soldiers landed in a village
- Within three minutes of their arrival soldier shot an Afghan man three times
- The SAS soldier later claimed he killed the man in an act of self defence
- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Horrific footage has emerged showing an Australian soldier shooting dead a seemingly unarmed Afghan man cowering in a field in a gruesome incident that’s been labelled a ‘straight up execution’.
The confronting video, aired by the ABC’s Four Corners on Monday night, was shot from a dog handler’s helmet camera in the Afghanistan village of Deh Jawz-e Hasanza in May, 2012.
A German Shepherd named Quake was seen guiding a group of soldiers to a man hiding in a wheat field, with one aiming his M4 assault rifle at his head from about two metres away.
‘You want me to drop this c**t?’ the soldier yelled at the dog handler.
The Afghan man cowered down holding what appeared to be red prayer beads.
‘I don’t know mate. Hit *** up,’ the handler replied, referring to the patrol commander nearby.
The soldier then directed his question at the commander.
‘You want me to drop this c***?’
He asked twice but the commander’s response can’t be heard in the video.
The soldier then shot the man three times in the head and chest.
The helmet footage was taken from the moment a group of soldiers got out of a chopper in the village of Deh Jawz-e Hasanza in Afghanistan in May, 2012
An ADF investigation ruled the shooting was self defence, but Braden Chapman, a former member of the same squadron, was shocked when he saw the footage.
‘It’s just a straight-up execution really,’ Mr Chapman, who did not witness the killing, told Four Corners.
‘He’s asked someone of a superior rank what he should do, but it comes down to the soldier pulling the trigger. It’s a straight-up execution.’
The SAS soldier, who is still in the special forces, insisted he opened fire in self defence and said the Afghan man had a radio, which wasn’t visible in the footage.
He also told the ADF he pulled the trigger from 15 to 20 metres away.
He was cleared of wrongdoing by a military inquiry.
ADF issued a statement saying it was investigating ‘whether there is any substance to rumour and allegations’ about alleged war crimes by Australian solders in Afghanistan.
The investigation is ongoing.
‘You want me to drop this c**t?’ the soldier (pictured right) yelled at the dog handler
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said she was ‘deeply disturbed’ by the footage.
She said she had steadfastly supported an inquiry by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force into allegations against special forces in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2016.
The military watchdog is investigating 55 separate allegations of unlawful conduct in Afghanistan by Australian soldiers.
‘Where serious allegations are raised, Australians would rightly expect they are thoroughly examined,’ she said.
‘The Chief of the Defence Force has advised me that the IGADF will soon provide a report on the findings of the Afghanistan Inquiry.’