Commander Appoints Board to Investigate Air Strike
American Forces Press Service
KABUL, Sept. 8, 2009 The commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force has appointed a two-star general to lead the formal investigation into a Sept. 3 air strike in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that reportedly killed numerous civilians.
Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal appointed Canadian Maj. Gen. C.S. Sullivan to lead the joint investigation board’s probe of the incident.
Sullivan directs ISAF’s air component and serves as the command’s deputy director of joint operations. The board also will include a U.S. Air Force officer, a German officer and a legal advisor and will coordinate with the Afghan investigation team formed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
An initial assessment at the scene by McChrystal and members of his senior leadership team concluded that civilians had been killed or injured in the strike.
The investigation is examining the series of events that began when two fuel trucks were reported stolen by insurgents and ISAF servicemembers located the trucks on the banks of the Kunduz River. Believing civilians were not in the area, the local ISAF commander authorized an air strike, which destroyed the two fuel trucks. Subsequent review has led ISAF officials to believe that along with insurgents, civilians were killed and injured in the strike.
McChrystal has directed the joint investigation board to research and document all facts and circumstances surrounding the strike and any civilian casualties. Officials said they expect the board’s work to take several weeks, and that its findings will be shared with Afghan and German authorities to inform their follow-on actions.
(From an International Security Assistance Force news release.)