Afghans Asked For Airstrike

The airstrike that hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 22 people, was in response to a request for air support from Afghan forces on the ground, the top US commander in Afghanistan told reporters Monday at the Pentagon. “We have now learned that on Oct. 3?, Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions. … An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat and several civilians were accidentally struck,” said Gen. John Campbell, commander of the Resolute Support Mission and US Forces-Afghanistan. Campbell said he has ordered an investigation into the incident, which involved an AC-130 gunship. “If errors were committed we’ll acknowledge them, we’ll hold those responsible accountable, and we will take steps to ensure mistakes are not repeated,” he said. Campbell noted that while initial reports indicated Taliban fighters were firing directly on US forces on the ground before the airstrike, that was not the case. Rather, he said, the Afghans asked for support from a special forces team performing a train, advise, and assist mission in Kunduz.