Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Obama apologizes to MSF for deadly Kunduz air strike
By Jérôme CARTILLIER
Washington (AFP) Oct 7, 2015


US President Barack Obama on Wednesday apologized to Doctors without Borders (MSF) for a deadly US air strike on an Afghan hospital, as the medical charity demanded an international probe into the incident.

Three separate investigations -- by the US military, NATO and Afghan officials -- are currently under way into Saturday's catastrophic strike in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, which left 22 people dead.

The US military has offered a series of shifting explanations for the bombing raid, from initially talking about "collateral damage" to now admitting, as Obama did in his call to MSF chief Joanne Liu, that the strike was a mistake.

One report said the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan thought American forces had broken their own rules of engagement in carrying out the strike, which sparked international outrage.

Obama called Liu to "apologize and express his condolences for the MSF staff and patients who were killed and injured when a US military airstrike mistakenly struck an MSF field hospital in Kunduz," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

The president assured Liu that the Pentagon probe would "provide a transparent, thorough and objective accounting of the facts and circumstances of the incident," Earnest said.

Obama also called Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to express his condolences, and commended the "bravery" of Afghan forces battling to secure the city of Kunduz from Taliban fighters.

But the charity, which condemned the attack as a war crime, stressed the need for an international inquiry, saying the bombing raid was in contravention of the Geneva Conventions.

"We cannot rely on an internal military investigation," Liu told reporters in Geneva, insisting that the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission should probe the bombing.

"This was not just an attack on our hospital -- it was an attack on the Geneva Conventions," Liu said.

"This cannot be tolerated."

MSF's US chief Jason Cone later called on Obama to consent to the commission, which he said would "send a powerful signal of the US government commitment to... international humanitarian law and the rules of war."

The fact-finding commission, which was officially constituted in 1991, requires a request by one of the 76 signatory nations to begin its work, according to its website.

- 'Not an answer' -

Liu's remarks come a day after General John Campbell, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, said the "hospital was mistakenly struck" when Afghan officials called for the raid.

But MSF brushed aside that explanation, saying "a mistake is not an answer for us" and insisting on knowing "the facts, the intention, the criteria" behind the raid, which lasted more than an hour.

International aid groups, the United Nations and a growing tide of global revulsion have added to the pressure on Washington to come clean over the strike, which came days after the Taliban overran Kunduz.

The strike killed 12 MSF staff and 10 patients, prompting the charity to close the trauma center, seen as a lifeline in a war-battered region with scant medical care.

Hungry, thirsty and war-wounded residents, slowly emerging from their houses after days of pitched street battles, complained that Kunduz lacked essential medical support.

"One of my family members has a bullet stuck in his leg," Zabihullah, a local resident, told AFP, adding that another relative had a wound that "hasn't been stitched yet."

"But with no good hospital, where can we possibly go for treatment?"

- Rules of engagement -

The New York Times on Tuesday, citing officials close to Campbell, said US special forces in Kunduz were unable to verify whether the hospital was a legitimate target before the bombs were dropped.

Under US rules of engagement, air strikes are called in to eliminate insurgents, protect American troops and assist Afghans who request air support.

But the US special forces on the ground most likely did not ensure that the required strike met any of those criteria, Campbell said in private discussions with his colleagues, according to the report.

In testimony to the US Congress on Tuesday, Campbell stressed that while it was the Afghans who called for the strike, ultimately the decision to launch rested with Americans.

His remarks provoked no immediate response from Afghan officials, but they have previously claimed that insurgents were using the hospital as a position to target troops and civilians.

A Taliban official told AFP that militants visited the hospital to reassure staff that they would not be harmed but left the facility 12 hours before the bombing.

Campbell has urged Washington to consider boosting its post-2016 military presence to repel a Taliban upsurge and stabilize a "tenuous security situation" in the war-ravaged nation.

The White House is reviewing whether to press ahead with plans for the final exit of US troops by late 2016, the end of Obama's presidency, and leave an embassy-based force of about 1,000 in Afghanistan.

US forces in Afghanistan currently stand at about 9,800. Campbell said Obama has provided him with "flexibility" to slow the drawdown.

burs-ac/psr/sst/ec


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
No foreign aid agencies left in Afghanistan's Kunduz: UN
Geneva (AFP) Oct 6, 2015
All international aid organisations have left the embattled Afghan city of Kunduz following a US air strike on a hospital run by medical charity MSF and amid heavy fighting, the UN said Tuesday. The humanitarian situation in the strategic northern city, briefly captured by the Taliban last month, is thought to be difficult but the extent of what is needed remains unclear because of problems ... read more


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
US Coast Guard to suspend search for 'El Faro' survivors

America's children in crossfire of gun control debate

Merkel declares EU asylum rules 'obsolete' as navies tackle smugglers

Obama apologizes to MSF for deadly Kunduz air strike

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Caution: Shrinks when warm

Flipping molecular attachments amps up activity of CO2 catalyst

New system allows heightened purity of a metal binding compound

Redefining temperature with precision lasers

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
New water-tracing technology to help protect groundwater

Illegal, industrial fishing threaten oceans: experts

Gulf Stream ring water intrudes onto continental shelf like 'Pinocchio's nose'

The 'water mafias' that suck Karachi dry

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Climate change: Inuit culture on thin ice

Warmer temperatures stimulate diversity of soil fungi

Ice samples from Greenland and Russia provide clues to climate

Arctic sea ice still too thick for regular shipping through Northwest

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Tillage timing influences nitrogen availability and loss on organic farms

Climate-linked insurance a boon for poor farmers

Researchers find key link in understanding agriculture pests

The Danish nitrogen budget in a nutshell

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Signs of ancient megatsunami could portend modern hazard

Ten years of searching for Pakistan's earthquake missing

More flood misery in US southeast as toll rises to 17

11 dead as South Carolina copes with record floods

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Eutelsat and Facebook to partner on vsat initiative to get Africa online

Two Niger soldiers killed in 'Boko Haram ambush'

Burkina Faso coup leader in police custody: security source

Britain to send troops to Somalia for training

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Our brain's secrets to success

Woman sits dead for hours in Hong Kong McDonald's

2-million-year-old fossils reveal hearing abilities of early humans

How to find out about the human mind through stone




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement