From the UK’s Daily Mail:
Soldiers were ordered not to open fire on Taliban fighters planting mines in case they disturb local people, it has been claimed.
U.S. military chiefs ordered troops to exercise ‘courageous constraint’ and even warned them they could be charged with murder if they shot any Taliban without permission from above.
The claims were made by a former Royal Marine who spoke out following the inquest into the death of Sergeant Peter Rayner last week.
At the hearing in Bradford, his widow Wendy Rayner revealed how her husband was blown up days after senior officers had apparently ‘laughed off’ his complaints that insurgents were being allowed to plant explosive devices unchallenged.
The 34-year-old phoned his wife in a ‘highly stressed’ state four days before his death and was upset that his fears were not taken seriously.
She said he and his men had watched the enemy, using night-vision goggles, plant improvised explosive devices and were not allowed to attack them. He was allegedly told by one officer: ‘I am an Army Captain and you will do your job.’
Father-of-one Craig Smith, 36, who quit his job with 40 Commando in January and now works for a Newcastle security firm, documented the ‘outrageous’ orders issued to troops in a diary of his six-month tour of Afghanistan’s Helmand province last May, according to the Sun.
His notebook cites several examples and claims troops were ordered to stand and watch when they spotted a Taliban fighter as the sound of shooting would ‘wake up and upset the locals’.
He also reveals how they were told not to shoot or use mortars for illumination when they came across Taliban soldiers in an area full of hidden explosive devices.
Mr Smith wrote at the time: ‘After a few days it becomes apparent that when we positively identify people we cannot open fire!'”
The full story is here.