Australian soldiers have been photographed flying a Nazi flag over a military vehicle in Afghanistan.
The disturbing images show a swastika symbol - synonymous with racial hatred, fascism and genocide - hoisted above Australian Defence personnel in 2007.
An army source told the ABC a solider took the flag to the warzone as a 'twisted joke' - not as an expression of Nazism.
They claimed the flag was flown for a 'prolonged period', though the Department of Defence refuted that claim.
'The flag was briefly raised above an Australian Army vehicle in Afghanistan in 2007,' a spokesman told the broadcaster.
Australian soldiers have been photographed flying a Nazi flag over a military vehicle in Afghanistan
'The commander took immediate action to have the offensive flag taken down. It is totally inappropriate for any ADF vehicle or company to have a flag of this nature.'
The spokesman said the soldiers involved were cautioned and received further counselling.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Australian Defence Department for comment.
Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, described the photos as 'deeply troubling and distressing'.
'The flying of the Nazi flag, the most evil symbol in the history of mankind by our soldiers is a slap in the face to the diggers who fought valiantly and died to defeat Hitler,' Dr Abramovich told Daily Mail Australia.
'The swastika represents pure hatred and the crimes of a regime responsible for the most destructive conflict the world has ever known, including the murder of six million Jews and millions of others.
An army source said a solider took the flag to the warzone as a 'twisted joke' - not as an expression of Nazism (stock image)
'At a time of escalating anti-Semitism and intolerance, this vile display of bigotry is a reminder of the ever-present need for people of good to speak out against such abhorrence, and that racism is still rampant in parts of our society.'
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull slammed the flag as 'completely and utterly unacceptable'.
'It was absolutely wrong and their commanders took action at the time,' Mr Turnbull said in Hobart on Thursday.
The photos come as members of Australia's Special Air Services Regiment face shocking allegations of war crimes while fighting in Afghanistan.
A confidential Defence inquiry report, obtained by Fairfax, shows SAS members reported 'unsanctioned and illegal application of violence on operations' which showed a 'disregard for human life and dignity'.
A special forces interviewee said 'horrendous' and 'disgraceful things happened in Kabul... very bad news, or just inappropriate behaviour, but it was pretty much kept under wraps'.
The report also describes the challenges the government faces in tackling conduct which involves 'problems deeply embedded in the culture' of the special forces.
The photos come as members of Australia's Special Air Services Regiment face shocking allegations of war crimes while fighting in Afghanistan (stock image)
It is alleged an Afghan man who was killed by machine-gun fire during a military mission had his leg removed and taken back to Perth to be kept as a souvenir.
The leg, which was prosthetic, was used as a novelty drinking vessel by soldiers sharing a beer back home, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
In a separate killing, a junior trooper on his first deployment to Afghanistan was pressured by higher-ranking soldiers to execute an elderly, unarmed detainee, witnesses claim.
Some soldiers said they overheard the Easter Sunday execution was to 'blood the rookie' - a twisted initiation into the job of killing.
Others said it was just another example of 'competition killing' among some Special Forces teams.
Soldiers from Australia's Special Air Service Regiment have been summoned to give evidence to a special inquiry, which aims to give clarity to the accusations.
Just fuck off Daily Fail fortunately no one believes you anyway!