It was nearly six years ago on October 3 that the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital near Kunduz, Afghanistan, was hit by US airstrikes. The bombings occurred ‘repeatedly and precisely’ and for more than 30 minutes afterwards, hospital officials frantically called Afghan and American military officials.
In the end, the hospital — which was caring for Afghans wounded in the ongoing war — was partially destroyed and 22 civilians and medical workers lay dead. The timeline afterward went something like this: the Pentagon acknowledged there may have been collateral damage to a nearby medical facility during a fight with Taliban insurgents. A day later, officials said the US had fired on insurgents who were engaging with Afghan military in ‘the vicinity’ of the hospital. On the third day, they blamed the Afghan military for calling in the strike. On October 6, Gen. John Campbell told a Senate committee that US special forces on the ground, in coordination with Afghan forces, called in the attack that ‘mistakenly struck’ the hospital. […]
The fog of war indeed. But that event six years ago illustrates that the most recent ‘mistake’ by the US military — a drone attack in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, mostly children — is just the latest in an ongoing tableau of carnage.
To put it into perspective, London-based Airwars, which has been methodically cataloging strikes across the Middle East, released a report earlier this month claiming that the United States has killed at least 22,679 civilians — and potentially as many as 48,308 — in 91,340 strikes across seven major conflict zones since 2001. Läs artikel