Did Aircraft that Bombed Hospital in Kunduz Pass Through Ireland?
Shannonwatch 6th October 2015
Reliable reports indicate that the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan was carried out by a United States AC-130W aircraft. Shannonwatch call on the Irish government to immediately investigate and clarify if the aircraft involved passed through Shannon Airport or Irish airspace on its way to Afghanistan.
“The US hit a very large hospital full of wounded patients”, said Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch. “They killed 22 people, including 3 children, and they continued to bomb the hospital for 30 minutes after MSF had informed the US military that the hospital was under attack. This would appear to be a war crime, and it is one that Ireland may be implicated in.”
“The US aircraft that carried out this bombing may well have been authorised by the Irish Government to land and refuel at Shannon Airport, or fly through Irish airspace when it was being deployed to Afghanistan” said Mr Horgan.
“We know that there is no proper oversight of what US military planes overfly Ireland and we know there are no inspections of US military aircraft going through Shannon, even though such activity is in clear breach of Ireland’s obligations as a neutral state.”
“On 5th Sept 2013 a US military AC-130W aircraft, similar to the one that reportedly carried out the bombing of the Kunduz hospital landed and refuelled at Shannon Airport. It may even be the same aircraft.”
Shannonwatch call on the Irish government to confirm whether or not the aircraft responsible for the Kunduz bombing and its crew transited through or over Ireland.
“There is an urgent need for an independent investigation into what happened in Kunduz. But there is also an urgent need to do something about Irish government complicity in unjustified wars by allowing US military to transit through Shannon Airport”.
“We need a statement from Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan on the aircraft that bombed the hospital” said Edward Horgan. “And we need an immediate end to the US military use of Shannon Airport. This would send a clear message that we will not support counter-productive and unjustified wars or tolerate war crimes.”
“MSF courageously provide vital medical care for all those injured in conflict zones” said Edward Horgan. “Unfortunately war crimes and reckless military operations also operate without borders or limitations. We in Ireland have a responsibility to ensure that our Government is not complicit in such atrocities”.
A surviving member of MSF staff reported that the patients who were killed in the hospital bombing were burned in their beds because the staff who should have evacuated them had also been killed.