More than 60 SAS soldiers may stand down

More than five dozen Australian soldiers may stand down as a mark of protest against the disbanding of their squadron over alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

After the release of an inquiry report into the killing of 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners, Chief of Army Rick Burr removed the 2 Squadron of the Special Air Service Regiment from the army’s ordre of battle.

The Daily Mail Australia reported on Monday quoted Heston Russell, a former officer in the Sydney-based special forces 2nd Commando Regiment, as saying SAS members were in an uproar. The SAS members have already resigned or intend to do so over what they call the group punishment, the newspaper said.

Similarly, the Perth-based 2 Squadron SAS Regiment was also removed from the Army’s Order of Battle.

Since they cannot mount a public defence, the soldiers have written over 350 letters to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to ‘get their voice out in public’.