March 22nd, 2004

noddy

Our pilots refused to bomb 40 times

Sydney Morning Herald Article...

Australia's F/A-18 pilots defied the orders of American commanders and refused to drop their bombs on up to 40 missions during the invasion of Iraq, it can now be revealed.

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Squadron Leader Daryl Pudney last week described how he and other Australian F/A-18 pilots were forced to weigh up the risk of civilian casualties in a split second before dropping their bombs.

He said pilots broke off many missions after they saw the target and decided there was not a valid military reason to drop their bombs.

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But it appears there were fundamental differences between the US dominated headquarters and Australian pilots over what constituted a valid military target.

Squadron Leader Pudney said under Australia's rules of engagement pilots had to ask themselves on each mission whether it was right to drop their bombs.

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