Last week, as a part of the Pentagon’s “investigation” of a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) bombing in Kunduz, sent in investigators ……… in a tank ……………… which ground much of the evidence to dust:
A US tank has forced its way into the shell of the Afghanistan hospital destroyed in an airstrike 11 days ago, prompting warnings that the US military may have destroyed evidence in a potential war crimes investigation.
As calls grow for independent inquiry into Kunduz airstrikes, the president of Médecins Sans Frontières demands that those responsible are held to account
The 3 October attack on the Médécins sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz killed 10 patients and 12 staff members of the group.
In a statement on Thursday, the medical charity, also known as Doctors Without Borders, said they were informed after Thursday’s “intrusion” that the tank was carrying investigators from a US-Nato-Afghan team which is investigating the attack.
“Their unannounced and forced entry damaged property, destroyed potential evidence and caused stress and fear,” MSF said.
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reported intrusion, which came as new evidence emerged that US forces operating in the area at the time of the attack knew that the facility was a hospital.
And now we have another MSF hospital bombed, this one in Yemen.
Considering the US record on such things,* one has to wonder if perhaps our military establishment is sick of
Airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition targeting rebels in Yemen have destroyed a small hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in the northern province of Saada, although there were no deaths and only one injury, the aid group said Tuesday.
The first of several strikes came around 11 p.m. on Monday and hit a building housing the facility’s administration offices, according to Hassan Boucenine, the aid group’s head of mission in Yemen who spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from the southern port city of Aden.
No one was inside at the time, he said, adding that by the time a second strike targeted the main nearby building about 10 minutes later, its occupants — some 12 staff and patients — had been evacuated.
“This attack is another illustration of a complete disregard for civilians in Yemen, where bombings have become a daily routine,” Boucenine said later in a statement by the group, also known by its French acronym MSF.
It urged coalition forces to explain the circumstances around the attack, saying that the hospital’s GPS coordinates were regularly shared with the Saudi-led coalition and its roof was clearly identified with its logo. The bombing of civilians and hospitals is a violation of international humanitarian law, it added.
The group operates in eight Yemeni governorates at a time when many foreign aid groups and even United Nations personnel have been evacuated. In its statement, it said the destroyed hospital had treated roughly 3,400 patients were since MSF began supporting it in May.
The Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition has been launching airstrikes against Yemen’s Shiite rebels, also known as Houthis, and their allies since March. Saada, the Houthis stronghold, has faced a particularly intense bombardment.
The United Nations said the facility was the 39th health center hit since the violence escalated in March, adding that critical shortages of fuel, medication, electricity and water could mean many more will close. Amnesty International said the strike may amount to a war crime and called for an independent investigation.
MFS treats anyone regardless of politics, and I’m beginning to think the Pentagon, and the Saudi state security apparatus, don’t like this.
It does seem rather similar to the spate of bombing of well documented Al Jazeera facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq.
*Donald Rumsfeld justified the bombing of hospitals during the initial invasion of Afghanistan, because they were treating combatants, which was a remarkably blithe admission of war crimes, since treating the enemy does not remove a hospital’s protected status.