SAS a hard target in Afghanistan, expert says

A counter-terrorism expert says there is only anecdotal evidence backing newspaper reports claiming the Taliban is specifically targeting Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

Three Australian servicemen have been killed in the conflict in Afghanistan since 2001, including SAS patrol commander Sergeant Matthew Locke who was shot in the chest by Taliban fighters earlier this week.

But counter-terrorism expert Clive Williams from the Australian National University says the SAS are difficult targets.

“I’ve not seen in the context of the Taliban that they’ve actually singled out any particular group for targeting up until now,” he said.

“The way that SAS operates is in small groups and they only engage the enemy if it is to their advantage to do so.

“Generally speaking, they try and maintain a low profile because their role is surveillance, and providing information to more substantive forces.”

Professor Williams says the Taliban are avoiding direct clashes with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) because they know they will come off second best.

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