Global Panel Seeks to Investigate US Attack on Afghan Hospital

White House Opposes Independent Inquiry

The International Humanitarian Fact Finding Committee (IHFFC), a body created under the Geneva Conventions to investigate war crimes, has indicated it is ready and willing to investigate this month’s US attack on a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz. The attack killed 22 civilians, and Doctors Without Borders, which ran the facility, has sought an independent investigation.

The IHFFC did, however, say they require assurances of cooperation to begin the investigation, and that means it almost certainly won’t happen, as the White House is loudly opposing the effort to establish any independent inquiry into the killings.

President Obama is said to believe an investigation is “unnecessary,” and the White House is promising that the Pentagon’s own inquiry into the attack will be sufficient. US Gen. Philip Breedlove had previously endorsed the IHFFC investigation, but now it seems the US is determined to stonewall it.

Doctors Without Borders is complaining that nearly two weeks after the incident, they remain “in the dark about why a well-known hospital full of patients and staff was repeatedly bombarded for more than an hour.” In the absence of a good excuse, officials seem determined to keep the probe away from prying eyes.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of