Calls for apologies to cleared SAS troops

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Scott Morrison wants special forces troops no longer facing action over war crimes in Afghanistan to walk forward with honour.

But the prime minister will not apologise for former defence minister Linda Reynolds labelling allegations against 13 soldiers "cold-blooded" murder last year.

Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force Paul Brereton's inquiry led to them being told to prove why they should not be sacked.

But the group has now been told there is not sufficient information for their cases to be referred to investigators.

Mr Morrison said the fact people had been notified of an outcome showed the system was working.

"This process is going to take a very long time," he told 2GB radio on Wednesday.

"But in the specific cases of individuals who have already had outcomes here, I want them to be able to walk tall and to walk forward with honour and the full respect of our government."

One of the SAS troops is reportedly back in Afghanistan helping to evacuate Australians and visa holders from danger at Kabul airport.

Mr Morrison said there was a robust process in place to deal with the Brereton report, which found credible allegations special forces murdered 39 Afghans.

"This is a very complicated issue. It's very difficult," the prime minister said.

"The Brereton inquiry and the issues raised in that are, of course ... very serious."

He said the report did not make allegations about specific individuals.

"We don't want to cause any hurt to our veterans community and our defence community."

Retired special forces commander Heston Russell said the families had been through hell after the men were isolated and ostracised.

"There's irreparable damage there and what's more is we can't even afford them an apology," he told 4BC radio.

The scathing Brereton inquiry found credible evidence Australian soldiers tortured two prisoners with junior patrol members ordered to carry out executions.

A special investigator has been appointed to examine the report's evidence.

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