Two US soldiers and four Afghan special forces were killed, and three other US soldiers wounded in heavy fighting with the Taliban this morning, as the Taliban attempted to surge into an area around the northern city of Kunduz. As they usually do, the troops called in airstrikes to “break the siege.”
Instead of breaking the siege, the US warplanes pounded the village of Bouz Kandahari, destroying a number of houses and killing at least 30 civilians. 25 further civilians were wounded in the attack, fueling protests outside the governor’s office in Kunduz.
NATO conceded immediately that the coalition was behind the airstrikes, but appeared relatively unrepentant about it, insisting all the civilian deaths were because the Taliban were using the houses for “cover,” which of course is not a legal justification for bombing the houses.
US commander Gen. John Nicholson issued a statement after the incidents, offering condolences to the families of the two US soldiers who were slain. Defense Secretary Ash Carter also said he was “saddened” by the deaths of the US troops, but neither offered much of anything in comments on the dozens of dead civilians.