A senior U.S. general on Tuesday said the air attack that killed 22 patients and medical staffers in northern Afghanistan was not intended to strike a hospital run by an international aid group, adding to an evolving Pentagon account of one of the deadliest American strikes on a civilian target in recent history. The U.S. military takes the greatest care in our operations to prevent the loss of innocent life, Carter said. And when we make mistakes, we own up to them. Doctors Without Borders has described the attack as deliberate and a possible war crime.
Gen. John F. Campbell, who commands U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, said the powerful U.S. gunship that struck a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in the city of Kunduz acted in response to a request from Afghan troops facing a Taliban attack.
But, Campbell told the Senate Armed Services Committee, the United States bore ultimate responsibility for authorizing strikes on a civilian compound.
Campbell said a full accounting of the weekend incident, which occurred as U.S. forces sought to help the Afghan government reclaim Kunduz, the first major Afghan city to fall to the Taliban since the war began in 2001, would be available after a Pentagon investigation. He declined to give a timeline for that probe. Read more…