At least 10 current members of the Australia's elite Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment implicated in the damning Afghanistan war crimes inquiry have received "show cause" notices from the Defense Department, ABC News reported.
ABC quotes Defense sources saying that the elite soldiers facing possible expulsion are members of the SAS's now disbanded 2 Squadron as well as the Regiment's 3 Squadron.
Other Special Forces members may eventually be discharged or face a range of disciplinary sanctions, including formal warnings.
The personnel are suspected to have been "accessories" or "witnesses" to alleged murders carried out by other Special Forces soldiers but are not among the 19 personnel who Justice Brereton recommended be referred to Federal Police.
"Defense can confirm it has initiated administrative action against a number of serving Australian Defence Force personnel in accordance with legislation and Defence policy," a spokesperson told the ABC.
Early this week, Defense Force Chief General Angus Campbell said he would be held to account to ensure the report was dealt with thoroughly, as well as for duty and performance as the commander in the Middle East in 2011.
“I want the ADF (Australia Defense Force) to acknowledge that this is something we’ve got to own because if we don’t own it, we won’t fix it and if we don’t fix it, this horror may appear again and I just cannot accept that,” Campbell said as quoted by ABC.
The report, which recommended referring 19 current and former soldiers for potential prosecution, caused shame and anger in Australia, a country that usually honours its military history with fervour.
“I see layers of responsibility here,” Campbell said. “I’m determined to see deep, comprehensive and enduring change where it is needed.”
Reports published on Thursday after an inquiry into the conduct of special forces personnel in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016, found that senior commandos forced junior soldiers to kill defenseless captives in order to “blood” them for combat.