July 3, 2017
Britain’s Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has called for an immediate investigation into claims by British media about unlawful killings by British special forces in Afghanistan.
“Members of Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) are alleged to have covered up evidence that they killed unarmed Afghan civilians in cold blood and falsified mission reports in a potential war crimes scandal that the government has tried to keep secret,” wrote The Sunday Times in a recent report.
“Senior military police and defence sources with a detailed knowledge of the investigation have said that evidence gathered of war crimes by the SAS is ‘credible,’” it added.
Corbyn said on Sunday that the allegations had to be investigated in an independent inquiry.
The Labour leader emphasized that the “strong evidence” published by The Sunday Times raised the urgency for a prompt investigation.
“The allegations of unlawful killings and war crimes in Afghanistan are extremely serious and must be fully investigated,” he said, adding, “There can be no question of a cover up.”
Corbyn called on the government to promptly “establish an independent inquiry into what has taken place.”
He said the British nation owed “the victims and their families to ensure that a thorough investigation takes place.”
According to the UK media, some 675 cases of abuse by British armed forces in Afghanistan were under investigation by the country’s authorities.
British military forces have had active participation in the Afghan war since the US-led invasion of the Asian country in 2001.
The invading forces ended their “combat” missions in 2014, handing responsibility for security to Afghan security forces. Foreign troops have since taken the role of training local forces; however, they still take part in special operations.
British forces have been mostly stationed in the southern Helmand Province.