‘War crimes?’ White House issues late apology for airstrike on Doctors Without Borders hospital

In a rare moment of humility, the White House felt pressured enough to issue a formal apology for the mistaken airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital last week in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

The airstrike left at least 22 innocent people dead and prompted a call from Obama to the Doctors without Borders president, Dr. Joanne Liu on Wednesday.

From Politico:

“This morning from the Oval Office, President Obama spoke by telephone with Doctors Without Borders International President Dr. Joanne Liu to apologize and express his condolences for the MSF [Médecins Sans Frontiéres] staff and patients who were killed and injured when a U.S. military airstrike mistakenly struck an MSF field hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan over the weekend,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during the daily briefing.

The apology came as Liu on Wednesday called for an international investigation into the deadly incident, saying it was “unacceptable” that the bombing could be dismissed as collateral damage or a simple mistake.


It’s too early to tell if the late-coming apology will do anything to quell the international anger over the horrendous incident. But if the growing talk of “war crimes” is any indication, this could lead to an ongoing headache for the administration.

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