Air Strike in Kunduz

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jumpinjarhead, Sep 4, 2009.

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  1. Air Strike in Kunduz

    by Joshua Foust on 9/4/2009 · 3 comments

    ISAF says it found hijacked fuel tankers near Kunduz, with no civilians around, so it bombed the two tankers. There are, however, reports of civilian casualties.

    There are some disturbing angles to this: supposedly, after McChrystal’s new rules of engagement, if pilots have any doubt about the presence of civilians, they are meant to hold their fire. It’s frustrated the Marines fighting in the south, but the intent is at least a good one. The Reuters story on the air strike, however, is disappointing:

    “After observing that only insurgents were in the area, the local ISAF commander ordered air strikes which destroyed the fuel trucks and killed a large number of insurgents,” she said.

    “The strike was against insurgents. That’s who we believe was killed. But we are absolutely investigating” reports of civilian deaths, she said.

    Asked how pilots could know whether a crowd around the trucks included civilians, she said: “Based on information available at the scene, the commanders believed they were insurgents.”

    I really hope they didn’t just assume the crowd around the tankers was all insurgent, and bomb them based on that assumption. Normally much more foresight and review goes into non-critical air strikes.

    Then there’s this bit from the BBC:

    Kunduz province Governor Mohammad Omar said most of the dead were Taliban fighters – some of whom were Chechens – although other sources say many villagers had been killed while collecting fuel from the tankers.

    Seriously burned people are crowding a hospital in Kunduz, AFP reported.

    Witness Mohammad Daud, 32, told AFP the militants had been trying to transport the tankers across a river to villages in Angorbagh.

    “They managed to take one of the tankers over the river. The second got stuck so they told villagers to come and take the diesel,” he said.

    “Villagers rushed to the fuel tanker with any available container that they had, including water buckets and pots for cooking oil.

    “There were 10 to 15 Taliban on top of the tanker. This was when they were bombed. Everyone around the fuel tanker died.”

    Oh, I see, we have no idea who died, except that they were insurgents, and oh yeah there were Chechens, too? Gimme a break people. Uzbeks, I would believe—there are actual Uzbeks in the area, and IMU is rumored to be making a comeback of sorts. But Chechens? Puleez.

    Meanwhile, the obvious caveats apply: we still don’t know what happened, but it looks bad right now. If there were 40 civilians at the tankers getting fuel when those pilots bombed it, this is a disaster. It would tell me—again—that for all his hifalutin’ talk about caring about the population, we’re just doing the same old thing, only with progressively worse consequences as time goes on.
  2. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    And don't forget, the tanker drivers were beheaded when their rigs were stolen.
  3. Somehow can't see heavily armed Chechen Jihadist types allowing their loot to be plundered by local civpop.

    Just a thought.
  4. Say it ain't so! Surely these gallant fighters would never hide behind women and children? I mean, what would the Koran say?
  5. Agreed... that would be "Unislamic"... funny how "unislamic" behaviour seems to be really common amongst the religion of peace.

    Guess thats what happens when you have different interpretations on a work of fiction. :roll:
  6. No, no, TCM, it's only unIslamic when we do it- when they do it to their own they were actually apostates so that's all right then.
  7. Thought that a report said one or more of the tankers was bogged down in a river / stream bed and the hijackers called on the local CIVPOP to siphon off the fuel i) to lighten to load to allow the vehicles to be freed and ii) may be as a "heart and minds" effort?


    More than likely time line was something like:
    1) Spot hijacked trucks; only hijackers deemed to be present
    2) CIVPOP start to unload tankers in the meantime
    3) Allied Air arrives, with the usual time delay, attacks under the assumption that 1) is still the state of play and kills a mixed bag of hijackers and locals in the process...

    Then again, knowing how media-dependent the West is and how susceptible we are (or appear to be) to images / tales relayed, what’s to say there were zero CIVPOP present, stacks of hijackers in, on, under, over the rigs and no civilian casualties?

    Anyone remember GWI and the "Baby Milk Factory" (handwritten) sign atop what was left of a well bombed Command Bunker? Same in Gaza - Every round that goes down range from an IDF soldier will always come to rest in i) an old person, ii) a woman or iii) a child...

    An old chestnut but truth is always the first casualty and whilst we spin like our lives depend on it, yet can often tell when we’re being spun to, the enemy are doing so with a much less media-savvy audience...
  8. 90 muslims dead, oh dear how sad.
  9. Well according to their good book they're all in paradise now anyway, if anything they should be thanking us! They can't have it both ways! There's just no pleasing some people!!
  10. Kinda elastic this religion stuff aint it?

  11. On a logistical point.
    Is there any chance of them running out of virgins?
    You know,like Swansea...................................
  12. That's the "problem" with islam- how elastic it all is. I forget the technical term for it but basicly it's a dual religion rather than a logical religion- in other words it allows you to subscribe to oposing views and pick and choose which one you wish to employ at a given time.

    Unless you are salafi of course- then every one is either an infidel or apostate and needs to be killed.
  13. AIUI there is a fairly high level debate going on that it may not be virgins but raisens- in that milk, honey and raisens are wot you need to sustain you in paradise.

    Going to be a bit of a pi33er for all those martyrs when they get handed a box of dry grapes rather than a dusky houri.......

  14. as a famous line in an old US TV show went: "How convenient!"