Correcting what he called an erroneous earlier impression from his command, Campbell said that US special operations forces on the ground in Kunduz to “advise” Afghan forces were not under attack to prompt the raid. Instead, Campbell said, the aerial assault, conducted by a US AC-130 gunship, was requested by the Afghans.
“We have now learned that on 3 October, Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support from US forces. An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat and several civilians were accidentally struck,” Campbell said.
In a statement responding to Campbell’s comments, Christopher Stokes, the general director of Doctors Without Borders, which also uses its French acronym MSF, rejected Campbell’s statement as an attempt to shift blame for the US airstrike to the Afghan government and said the US remained responsible for targets it hit.