U.S. Commander: Afghans Requested Airstrike That Hit Hospital
The top commander of American and coalition forces in Afghanistan said this week that it was Afghan forces that called for the airstrike that hit a hospital, killing 22 innocent civilians.
Gen. John F. Campbell said the following:
“We have now learned that on Oct. 3, Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support from U.S. forces. An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat and several civilians were accidentally struck. This is different from the initial reports which indicated that U.S. forces were threatened and that the airstrike was called on their behalf.”
Following this, the U.S. has apologized for the errant strike and President Obama made a personal call to Doctors Without Borders to send his regret.
Read more at Military.com:
WASHINGTON — The U.S. airstrike that killed 22 at a medical clinic in northern Afghanistan over the weekend was requested by Afghan forces who reported being under Taliban fire, and was not sought by U.S. forces, the top commander of American and coalition forces in Afghanistan said Monday.
Gen. John F. Campbell made the statement at a hastily arranged Pentagon news conference. He said he was correcting an initial U.S. statement that said the airstrike had been in response to threats against U.S. forces.