A four-year inquiry into the Australian Special Forces’ SAS Regiment has found that at least 39 Afghan civilians were unlawfully killed by operators in 23 different incidents.

When the Australian SAS withdrew from Uruzgan province in Afghanistan in 2015, reports began filtering out that they had been involved in several shootings of unarmed civilians or farmers. 

General Angus Campbell, the then-chief of the army, requested the inspector general of the Australian Defense Forces (IGADF) to conduct an inquiry into “unsubstantiated stories” of illegal killings, inhumane and unlawful treatment of detainees, and a sense of entitlement developed over a lengthy period of time.

The IGADF then appointed NSW Supreme Court judge and reserve Maj. Gen. Paul Brereton to conduct the inquiry. It was released, although heavily redacted, this week.