Pentagon Lies: Covering Up Its Latest War Crime
by Stephen Lendman
US warplanes deliberately and maliciously terror bombed Kunduz, Afghanistan's hospital, the only one in the area - striking it multiple times for over an hour, despite knowing it was not involved in ongoing fighting in the city.
The death toll stands at 22, dozens more injured, including Doctors Without Borders (MSF) physicians, other medical staff and patients. Those unable to be moved were immolated in their beds.
US General in charge of Pentagon operations in Afghanistan John F. Campbell lied, claiming the Kunduz hospital was "accidentally struck."
His additional comments reflected typical US coverup and denial of a horrendous war crime, demanding full accountability to the highest levels," saying:
"We have now learned that on October 3, Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support from US 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 US forces were threatened and that the airstrike was called on their behalf."
"As you know, the United States military takes extraordinary steps to avoid harm to civilians. However, the Taliban have chosen to fight from within a heavily urbanized area, purposely placing civilians in harm's way. We will continue to take all necessary steps to avoid future civilian casualties."
Fact: The initial statement, now corrected, was a willful lie, claiming US forces were under attack.
Fact: DOD and Afghan forces had precise hospital location coordinates. It provided vital care for sick and injured people in the area, thousands dependent on it with nowhere else to go.
Fact: Attacking it was a premeditated war crime, an atrocity, the way all US wars are waged - dirty ones with no mercy whatever, civilians considered legitimate targets.
MSF lost 12 of its staff, 19 others injured. At least 10 patients died (including 3 children), around 20 others injured. MSF said US officials keep changing their explanation of what happened - from collateral damage to a tragic accident to blaming the Afghan government.
Washington bears full responsibility - no one else. "The reality is the US dropped those bombs," said MSF - "hit(ting) a huge hospital full of wounded patients and MSF staff. The US military remains responsible for the targets it hits…"
MSF called what happened "a war crime…Not a single member of (its) staff reported any fighting inside the…hospital compound prior to the US airstrike…"
The facility struck multiple times was full of patients and medical staff only. The rest of the compound was left mostly untouched. MSF general director Christopher Stokes called the incident "a grave violation of international humanitarian law."
He expressed "disgust" about wholly unsatisfactory statements explaining what happened. They "imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided 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."
This amounts to an admission of a war crime. This utterly contradicts the initial attempts of the US government to minimise the attack as 'collateral damage.' "
"There can be no justification for this abhorrent attack on our hospital that resulted in the deaths of MSF staff as they worked and patients as they lay in their beds."
MSF nurse Lajos Zoltan Jecs said "(t)here are no words for how terrible it was. In the intensive care unit, six patients were burning in their beds" - immolated by US terror bombing.
A patient in the operating room was found dead. MSF said it was withdrawing its staff from Kunduz. Its too unsafe to remain, leaving thousands with no access to medical care - US aggression fully responsible.
Russia's Foreign Ministry condemned the vicious attack, spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying "(r)epresentatives of Medecins Sans Frontieres have called the airstrike a grave violation of international law. It is hard to disagree with that conclusion."
It's "not the first time by far that civilians have been killed in Afghanistan because of the indiscriminate use of weapons by American forces."
"We resolutely condemn the airstrike on a civilian target. We demand an immediate objective investigation into what happened, and punishment for those responsible for the tragedy."
All US wars are acts of premeditated naked aggression, waged without mercy, civilians and nonmilitary sites considered legitimate targets - in flagrant violation of international law.
Russia scrupulously avoids harming civilians in targeting ISIS and other takfiri terrorists in Syria. Claims otherwise are Big Lies - the same liars failing to condemn horrific US war crimes, including willfully attacking Kunduz's hospital. Expect no accountability like always.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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