The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that at least 39 civilians – including eight children – had been killed in Russian air strikes in Syria since Wednesday, Reuters reported. The Defense Department has started an investigation, and will “await the results of that inquiry before making a definitive judgment as to the circumstances of this tragedy”, the statement said.
Campbell said the Taliban were still in Kunduz City, the provincial capital of Kunduz, and had “chosen to fight from urban areas putting civilians in harm’s way”.
If errors were committed, we’ll acknowledge them.
Carter refused to speculate on what occurred but stressed that the United States would hold accountable “anybody responsible for doing something they shouldn’t have done”.
Asked about those procedures, Campbell said he would not discuss the rules of engagement under which US forces operate.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Sunday it has closed the trauma centre, seen as a lifeline in a war-battered region with scant medical care, and demanded an independent probe into the devastating air raid. Instead, Gen Campbell said, the aerial assault, conducted by a US AC-130 gunship, was requested by the Afghans.
“If there’s other investigations out there that need to go on, we’ll make sure to coordinate those as well”, Campbell said.
“These statements imply that Afghan and U.S. forces working together made a decision to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital with more than 180 staff and patients inside because they claim that members of the Taliban were present”, he said.
The general said he expected a preliminary report in the coming days from the investigating officer, Army Brig.
Besides the 12 members of Doctors Without Borders and the 10 patients who were killed, the bombing left 37 wounded, 16 of them patients and 19 hospital staff, of whom five are in critical condition. The death toll of twenty-two people as a result of the bombing, including twelve Doctors Without Borders staff, is a grievous loss.
The Afghan defence ministry expressed sadness but in a statement said “a group of terrorists armed with light and heavy weapon… were using the hospital building as a position to target Afghan forces and civilians”. “The seriousness of the incident is underlined by the fact that, if established as deliberate in a court of law, an airstrike on a hospital may amount to a war crime,”Zeid added”.
Doctors Without Borders, the global aid group that ran the hospital, responded in a statement that the US “description of the attack keeps changing – from collateral damage to a tragic incident, to now attempting to pass responsibility to the Afghanistan government”. Christopher Stokes says, “There can be no justification for this awful attack”.