Video still from The New York Times

This just in from Capitol Hill: Gen. John Campbell, America’s head military honcho in Afghanistan, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that a Doctors Without Borders-affiliated hospital in Kunduz was “mistakenly struck” in Saturday’s air attack.

The New York Times posted a report about Campbell’s testimony:

With the United States struggling to account for an airstrike that decimated a Doctors Without Borders hospital, the American commander in Afghanistan on Tuesday took responsibility for the sustained bombardment of the medical facility, which he said took place in response to an Afghan call for help.

The commander, Gen. John F. Campbell, said the strike was the result of “a U.S. decision made within the U.S. chain of command.”

General Campbell, in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, offered few new details about the attack, which lasted for more than a half-hour and killed 22 patients and hospital staff members in northern Afghanistan on Saturday. He said the details of what took place would come out in an investigation now underway.

But after days of shifting and at times ambiguous American statements about the strike, which Doctors Without Borders has compared to a war crime, General Campbell was as direct on Tuesday as any official has been to date.

“A hospital was mistakenly struck,” he said.

The general said the military had received a request for air support from Afghan troops fighting to retake Kunduz from the Taliban. “Even though the Afghans request that support,” he said, “it still has to go through a rigorous U.S. procedure.”

All the same, Campbell left several questions unanswered that will continue to be asked.

Watch the Times’ coverage of Campbell’s Senate appearance below:

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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