(MENAFN- AzerNews) The Australian defense forces chief on Tuesday faced tough
questions following his move to remove the military honors of some
soldiers who served in Afghanistan, over alleged war crimes,
according to local media, Azernews reports, citing Anadolu
During a parliament hearing, a senator said Gen. Angus Campbell
was not on the front line in Afghanistan, so he should "surrender"
his own medal as well, ABC News reported.
"When you (Campbell) were granted the award, it was awarded for
'in action' - that's how the Distinguished Service Cross came
about," the broadcaster quoted Senator Malcolm Roberts.
Campbell was earlier posted as the commander of the Australian
forces in the Middle East.
"I would put it to you that this is demoralizing, and that it
would be an honorable thing to do in charge of the Australian
Defense Forces to actually surrender your medal," Roberts
Last week, the broadcaster reported that Campbell warned of
removing awards from some soldiers who held command positions in
the Afghanistan war, following an investigation into the war
However, Campbell, without elaborating, said he sent the
recommendations to Defense Minister Richard Marles and that the
minister could decide about it.
Meanwhile, Senator Roberts, following Tuesday's hearing, tweeted
that Campbell "should be stepping down, before that he should be
handing back the medals he's trying to strip from people who were
under his command."
In 2020, 39 Australian soldiers were accused of unlawful
killings of Afghan civilians or prisoners.
The Brereton report, commissioned by the Australian Defense
Force's Inspector-General Paul Brereton, found "credible
information" that the Australian soldiers murdered civilians and
prisoners in Afghanistan.
According to the report, 25 current or former personnel were
involved in serious crimes, either carrying out the offenses or
being "accessories" to them.
Following the report, Campbell offered an apology to Afghans as
he shared the horrifying details of the investigation.
According to UN estimates, at least 100,000 Afghan civilians
died after former US President George W. Bush authorized the
offensive in Afghanistan in October 2001.