The “incident” came less than a month after the Green Berets – who were battling for control of Kunduz in Afghanistan in an effort to beat back a Taliban advance – apparently decided that in order to rid an MSF hospital of some “insurgents” who were apparently hanging out inside (and by “hanging out” we mean “were injured and that’s why they were in the hospital in the first place”), they needed to call in an AC-130 gunship which proceeded to make five passes and engage the building for an hour, eventually killing dozens of people as tends to happen when advanced air assault technology squares off against unarmed people lying on gurneys.
Here are some of the visuals for anyone who missed it:
And here’s a look inside the building courtesy of BBC:
Now, in a revelation that likely won’t surprise those who frequent these pages, MSF says the US fired on civilans who were running from the building. Here’s Reuters:
Medical aid group Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Thursday it was hard to believe a U.S. strike on an Afghan hospital last month was a mistake, as it had reports of fleeing people being shot from an aircraft.
At least 30 people were killed when the hospital in Kunduz was hit by the strike on Oct. 3 while Afghan government forces were battling to regain control of the northern city from Taliban forces who had seized it days earlier.
The United States has said the hospital was hit by accident and two separate investigations by the U.S. and NATO are underway but the circumstances of the incident, one of the worst of its kind during the 14-year conflict, are still unclear.
MSF General Director Christopher Stokes told reporters the organization was still awaiting an explanation from the U.S. military.
“All the information that we’ve provided so far shows that a mistake is quite hard to understand and believe at this stage,” he said while presenting an MSF internal report on the incident.
The report said many staff described “seeing people being shot, most likely from the plane” as they tried to flee the main hospital building.
Let’s just be clear so that it doesn’t appear we’re being bombastic for the sheer hell of it: MSF is now accusing the US of firing on civilians fleeing a hospital.
And in case you have any questions as to whether US Spec Ops knew this was a hospital, recall the following from AP:
Taken together, the revelations raise the possibility that U.S. forces destroyed what they knew was a functioning hospital, which would be a violation of the international rules of war.
MSF went on to say that there were 20 wounded Taliban fighters at the facility, which shouldn’t surprise anyone because i) it’s a hospital, and ii) “treating wounded combatants is not a crime” (that’s a quote from MSF General Director Christopher Stokes). Back to Reuters:
“That night, it was one of the few buildings with electrical power, it was fully lit up,” Stokes said.
He also said that inspections of the area around the hospital since the Taliban withdrew from Kunduz last month did not reveal signs of heavy fighting.
So, while the Western media is busy accusing the Russians of accidentally hitting hospitals in Syria, MSF itself is now out accusing the US of gunning down fleeing civilians after engaging what Washington absolutely knew was a functioning medical facility. Here, for what it’s worth, is Washington’s excuse:
Maria Zakharova, if you’re listening, we can’t wait to see what you do with this.