After a 4-year investigation, British forces repeatedly and “in cold blood” killings of Afghan citizens

British Special Air Force (SAS) commandos killed at least 54 Afghans, in ambiguous circumstances, but the military command structure hid the possibility of any circumstances, according to a BBC investigation on Tuesday.

The investigation, which lasted four years, revealed unarmed Afghan citizens who were repeatedly killed “in cold blood” by British elite forces during night raids during the long war, and who had been given weapons to justify the crimes.

Senior officers, including General Mark Carleton Smith, then commander of the British Special Forces, were aware that the forces had questions about the operations, but did not report them to the military police. Under the British Armed Forces Act, it is a criminal offense for a military commander to notify the military police of his knowledge of possible war crimes, the BBC reported.

Carlton Smith, who retired from the Army command position last month, declined to comment on the BBC’s “Panorama” program, which said his investigations were based on court documents, leaked emails and reports from the BBC. his reporters who went in operations in Afghanistan. The Defense Ministry said previous investigations into the behavior of British forces in Afghanistan had not found prove sufficient to file a complaint.

And confirmed in a statement sent to the BBC that “no new ones have been submitted provebut the military police will investigate any allegations if new ones emerge prove”He added that” the British armed forces have served with courage and professionalism in Afghanistan and we always will in so that they adhere to standard higher “.

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The Panorama investigation, which will be broadcast in full later on Tuesday, tracks 54 people killed in ambiguous circumstances by an SAS unit during a six-month tour of Helmand province from November 2010 to May 2011.

Reports after the missions were carried out showed that the officers were surprised by the large number of casualties caused by the unit, in one moment in there have been no reports of injuries among soldiers during armed clashes with Taliban fighters. A senior special forces headquarters officer told Panorama that “a large number of people were killed during the night raids and the explanations given made no sense. When someone is arrested they shouldn’t end up dead.” “This happened again and again, causing concern in the headquarters. At the time it was clear that something was wrong,” he added.

There was particular concern over low-altitude monitoring of holes left by British special forces weapons in Afghan communities after the raids, indicating that the suspects were kneeling or on the ground. Many of the warnings have been relayed to the hierarchy, according to the BBC. However, the Elite Division was cleared to complete its six-month mission and was deployed in another mission in 2012.

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In 2014, the Royal Military Police opened an investigation into over 600 crimes that British forces are accused of committing in Afghanistan, including the killings committed by elite members. Military police investigators, however, told the BBC that the British military had “hindered” their work and that the investigation ended in 2019. Colonel Oliver Lee, who was the commander of the Royal Marines in Afghanistan in 2011 told the program that the allegations were “incredibly horrific” and warranted an overall inclusive investigation.