US Ally Saudi Arabia Bombs Another "Doctors Without Borders" Hospital

Tyler Durden's picture

Whenever you’re running an air campaign there’s always the possibility of collateral damage. In simpler terms, we you’re dropping bombs on populated areas, you’re invariably going to kill some non-combatants. 

Now ideally, you want to keep the number of dead civilians to a minimum, which is why The Intercept’s recent investigative report on America’s drone program was so disturbing - it turns out 90% of people killed aren’t the intended target. 

And while that would be bad enough on its own, the US and its regional allies in the Mid-East have recently made a number of “mistakes” while attempting to strike Taliban and Houthi targets in Afghanistan and Yemen, respectively. 

The most high profile screw up came earlier this month when US warplanes somehow mistook a hospital run by the medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors without Borders, in the Afghan city of Kunduz for a Taliban hangout.

The aftermath of the US bombing:

A subsequent report by AP suggests US Green Berets and officials in Washington knew full well they were firing on a hospital but believed there was “a large group of Taliban fighters in it.” Here’s more from AP:

The new information adds to a body of evidence that the U.S. military was closely examining the internationally run medical facility site, raising questions about whether the decision to attack it on October 3 violated international law. The attack left a mounting death toll, now up to 30 people. By one account, U.S. troops requested the air strike after coming under fire.


In the days before the attack, "an official in Washington" asked Doctors without Borders "whether our hospital had a large group of Taliban fighters in it," spokesman Tim Shenk said in an email. "We replied that this was not the case. We also stated that we were very clear with both sides to the conflict about the need to respect medical structures."


Taken together, the revelations raise the possibility that U.S. forces destroyed what they knew was a functioning hospital, which would be a violation of the international rules of war. The Pentagon has said Americans would never have intentionally fired on a medical facility. It's unclear why the Green Beret unit requested the strike - and how such an attack was approved by the chain of command - on coordinates widely known to have included a hospital.


Doctors without Borders officials say the hospital was not under Taliban control and that no gunmen were operating from within the compound - about six city blocks square with the one-story hospital situated some two blocks back behind a 12-foot wall - when the AC-130 gunship made five passes, firing for an hour.


Doctors without Borders has said it was frantically calling Kabul and Washington during the attack, trying to make the U.S. aware of what was unfolding as patients died in their beds.

You can draw your own conclusions there and you’re encouraged to read the full AP report.

Of course that’s not the only example of questionable targeting by “coalition” forces. In September, the Saudi-led coalition battling Iran-backed rebels in Yemen struck a wedding party in in the Red Sea village of Al-Wahijah killing dozens upon dozens including “many” women and children. The groom was allegedly affiliated with the Houthis. About a week later, the Saudis bombed another wedding south of Sana'a killing dozens more Yemenis.

Finally, Western media reported last week that Russian warplanes are targeting hospitals in Idlib and Aleppo. Here’s what the Russian foreign ministry had to say about those reports (via Maria Zakharova):

"There are so-called mass media reports which allege that Russian aircraft bombed a field hospital in the Idlib Governorate in northwestern Syria and reportedly killed 13 people. I cannot say that these reports are written by journalists but their ingenuity delights. This information appears with reference to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights based in London. As we all understand, it is very ‘convenient’ to cover and observe what is happening in Syria without leaving London and without the ability to collect information in the field.”

Again, draw your own conclusions.

On Tuesday we learn that yet another Doctors Without Borders facility has been bombed, this time in Saada, Yemen. As Reuters reports, Saudi warplanes apparently “destroyed the entire hospital with all that was inside.” Here’s more:

A Yemeni hospital run by medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) was hit by a Saudi-led air strike, the group said on Tuesday, the latest bombing of a civilian target in the seven-month air campaign in Yemen.


"MSF facility in Saada Yemen was hit by several air strikes last night with patients and staff inside the facility," the group said in a tweet on Tuesday.


Yemen's state news agency Saba, run the Iran-allied Houthi group that is the coalition's enemy, quoted the Heedan hospital director saying that several people were injured in the attack.


"The air raids resulted in the destruction of the entire hospital with all that was inside - devices and medical supplies - and the moderate wounding of several people," Doctor Ali Mughli said.


Saba said other air strikes hit a nearby girls school and damaged several civilian homes.


It was not immediately possible to confirm that report, and a coalition spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

And so, once more we see the head of the UN Human Rights Council displaying little regard for human life as Riyadh, Doha, and the UAE continue relentless airstrikes in the proxy war against their bitter regional rival Iran. 

It's worth noting here that reports of "collateral damage" are par for the proverbial course in Yemen. Since Saudi airstrikes began in March, more than 2,300 civilians have been killed according to the UN. UNICEF estimates some 500 of those were children. Of course the Houthis and Riyadh routinely tell completely different stories when it comes to who's responsible for civilian casualties, but at the end of the day, innocent people are dying as a result of what's become a multi-front sectarian-fueled, regional power struggle - that's pretty much all you need to know. 

Expect far more "mistakes" like the ones described above from both sides (that is, from the US and its regional allies and from the Russian-Iran alliance) and expect everyone involved (well, except for the victims) to write it off with prepared statements that approximate the following old idiom: "you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs."

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HowdyDoody's picture

This is what happen when you give amphetamines to military pilots.


VinceFostersGhost's picture



Bombs Another "Doctors Without Borders"


Do you believe in miracles?

Pladizow's picture

These hospitals are obviously desired targets!

VinceFostersGhost's picture




Fool me once....shame on you.


Fool me twice.....

Occident Mortal's picture

The AC-130 made FIVE PASSES firing for an hour.


Obviously an accident.

conscious being's picture

Like the USS LIBERTY was an accident.

Hey, speaking of amphetamines, here's a Saudi prince, caught with a load of it on his private plane, destined to get a buzz into the head-choppers on the front line.

greenskeeper carl's picture

Do the Saudis think they are exceptional or something? Murican is the only exceptional nation, therefore we are allowed to bomb hospitals because America. And the rest of the world will just have to learn to love us anyway. But the Saudis have no right to commit this atrocity. They aren't exceptional...

Latina Lover's picture

Sounds like the CIA does not control the "Doctors without Borders" NGO.  This is what you call a hostile takeover bid, USSA style.

Ghordius's picture

"Médecins Sans Frontières was created in 1971, in the aftermath of the Biafra secession, by a small group of French doctors and journalists who believed that all people have the right to medical care regardless of racereligion, creed or political affiliation, and that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national borders.édecins_Sans_Frontières

pods's picture

Did anyone expect anything less from our "friends" the Saudis?

About time we divorce ourselves from our marriage to these Sunni rats.  Maybe go back to minding our own fucking business?

You can be damn sure that both the planes and bombs had a "Made in Amerika" stamp on them.


WordSmith2013's picture

Did Obama (and Saudi Arabia) Bomb Doctors Without Borders for Opposing TPP?

A second bombing for good measure no less?

TruxtonSpangler's picture

Wow, did MSF threaten to stop being a weapons/drugs mule for USSA or something?

daveO's picture

It sure sounds like they've gone rogue. A whole new French Connection which, coincidentally?, was released the same year they were created.

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture



The organization is considering changing its name to "Doctors Without Hospitals"

although the considered change is only nominal at this time, they are being forward looking.

Poundsand's picture

MSF can simply make the formal complaint to the representative for their region of the UNHRC which just happens to be...  Ibrahim Abdul Aziz Alsheddi from ... wait for it.... Saudi Arabia. 

Their website actually says this regarding membership to the HRC. "The General Assembly takes into account the candidate States' contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as their voluntary pledge and commitments in this regard."  Obviously those pledges are preceeded by a $ and followed by a bunch of 00000's.

Ibrahim is no doubt all over this investigation.  We will just have to wait for the unbiased report.

steelhead23's picture

Yep, and if we allow ourselves to see this not as a mistake but as a tactic, it appears that the intent is to demonstrate that there is no place to hide, no safe haven, even if you are wounded and no longer present a risk.  It is also a message to MSF - if you provide comfort to our enemies, we will kill you.  Nice.  In my view, the doctors and nurses of MSF in war-torn parts of MENA are far more courageous, and human than those piloting AC 130s and those guiding their fire, and the entire chain of command - they are all murderous cowards that should be tried and hanged in the Hague.

TBT or not TBT's picture

They are MORONS above all.  War torn third world shitholes are not all equal.  These places are muslim.   Sure the MSF get points back in France for their virtuous selflessness and bolster their self images doing this, but the people in these countries hate infidels.  If MSF could cure people of Islam, that would be a real advance, as it is the main cause of poverty and violence in such places.  

HopefulCynical's picture

 If MSF could cure people of Islam, that would be a real advance, as it is the main cause of poverty and violence in such places.

Truth. Islam is not a religion; it merely has a religious component. It is a socio-political system whose sole intention is to control every aspect of every life on this planet. It's a megalomaniacal sociopathy masquerading as a religion.

Is blowback real? ABSOLUTELY. But that doesn't mean that Islam is not a bloodthirsty blight upon the collective consciousness of humanity. And before anyone starts in with "but Jesus..." I should point out that JESUS never said to kill anyone. Muhammed most certainly DID. (BTW, I am not a Christian.)

conscious being's picture

Westeners always need the black and white dichotomy thing. Islam spread around the Indian Ocean because it codified law and business practices in a way that advanced trade, powered by the prefictable Monsoon winds. In short, Muslims could trust Muslims, enabling colaboration, enabling wealth. If you became a Muslim, you could get in on the deals. This is not the only example of something similar. Christian traders on Europe's Atlantic coast wound up spreading Christianity among the Pagans the same way. Some Pagans took offence at bring cut out and picked up arms to attack the new system. We call these people the Vikings.

daveO's picture

It's a drug runner 'turf battle'. 

cro_maat's picture

I believe that MSF staunchly opposes the pharmaceutical takeover that is codified in the TTIP.

Someone (USSA) is sending a message.

MeetTozter's picture

MSF deserves what they get when they refuse CIA/NSA/DIA orders to spy of their "enemy" patients, perhaps to even insert RFID devices?  Maybe after a few C-130 "sales calls", MSF will wake up to the New American Reality.

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture

They're being hard pressed to make a choice between Hippocratic Oath and being  hypocritic oafs.

slammin_dude's picture

No, they do. Doctor's without borders is a notorious CIA front. They either have kicked out the CIA lately or the CIA is trying to run a false flag and like every politician and cop in America seems to forget that everybody on the planet, except Ukrainian Press has a camera phone....

Ignatius's picture

They are destroying the moral argument (the illusion of a moral wall) that 'they wouldn't do that', or 'we wouldn't do that' demonstrating that they most certainly would do that and do do that.  My thinking started changing when I realized they would destroy Iraq and murder a million plus people on a lie and that they would then employ torture for 'confessions' in an attempt to cover the lies.  That realization was what it took for me to more closely examine deep events like 9/11 and, from the evidence, draw alternative conclusions.  As people, through these further examples of moral bankruptcy, begin to understand the evil that is practiced, will perhaps challenge people to examine their own illusions.  In this way perhaps evil exposes and eventually destroys itself.

This battle is a spiritual battle to be won with spiritual weapons, IMHO.

FrankieGoesToHollywood's picture

This battle is a spiritual battle

Our war is a spiritual war and our great depression is our lives.

swmnguy's picture

You describe the moral considerations well.  However, this is a prime component of warfare in general, particularly modern warfare.  There is rarely a national military as "The Enemy."  The true Enemy is the civil structure to be destroyed, the ability for The Others to live as civilized human beings.  To that end, all the structure and infrastructure of society is the military target.  Weddings, hospitals, schools, water treatment facilities, power plants, food supply chains, etc.

The fact that this truth is abhorrent to decent human beings is a sign of the weakness of civilians.  Therefore, civilians must be intentionally misled, left uninformed, or at least bombarded with enough conflicting information and rationalizations that they shut down and stop thinking about things that are "above their pay grade" and best left to the professionals.

When the US military is used within the US to defend American Freedom from Terrorists, there will be a few confused individuals who will take it upon themselves to interfere in thought, if not in deed.  This is anticipated and well accounted-for in the planning.

Ignatius's picture

And likewise, you well describe current neocon thinking, the concept of total war and its consequential contingency planning.

God help us.

Seer's picture

Had to log in just to up-vote.

Ignatius's picture

Without a doubt, swmnguy 'gets it.'

conscious being's picture

Yeah well, I don't like the last line. "This is anticipated and well accounted-for in the planning."

The enemy is by no means omnipotent.

Boxed Merlot's picture

a spiritual battle to be won with spiritual weapons, IMHO...


Agreed.  I'm convinced the primary weapon is no longer opinion though, it's faith, and we shouldn't be humble about it any more either.  Christians need no more evidence as to the rightness of their faith in the Christ than to see God's permissive will, (and humor) in action by the presence of a mosque on the temple mount.


Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.  You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.  But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”   John 4:21-26



It's time for us to laugh with God's humor.



Isotope's picture

To be honest, MSF might want to make their stenciling a bit larger. Not that it would have mattered.

Baby Bladeface's picture
Baby Bladeface (not verified) Isotope Oct 27, 2015 7:02 AM

For Saudi apes, hospital symbol and crosshair on target indistinguishable. Lesson learned American trainers.

GMadScientist's picture

99% sure MSF shares the GPS coords for every one of their facilities with both sides of the theater for just this reason.

Not one little excuse for this barbarism.

Seer's picture

It's 100% fact that they do, which is why there is ZERO reason for all of this (other than the total disregard for human life [spreading "freedom" and "democracy" my ass!], it's certifiably nothing short of WAR CRIMES).

swmnguy's picture

Actually, MSF should remove any and all identifying marks.  They are a military target, whether or not this is openly acknowledged.  All civilian infrastructure is targeted in the Wars of Empire.

Urban Redneck's picture

It's probably the big red X's on the roofs.  Which actually raises a serious question about the Syrian Disinformation Observatory's accusation - did ISIS or Al CIAda request properly identified field hospital tents from their CIA handlers?  In practice, a field hospital is anywhere two medics are gathering for a smoke break.  In international law, the requirements for a field hospital are a bit more stringent, which benefits the doctors, the bombers, and the MIC's bottom line. 

Ghordius's picture

all true, but isn't the activity of "Doctors Without Borders" well documented?

again, I am living in a - perhaps dreamworld - of carefully planned missions instead of gung-ho "let's see what targets I can spot"

Urban Redneck's picture

"Carefully planned" would depend in specific circumstances.  There are (were)  a ton of manuals they make you read, and elaborate procedures that everyone seems to follow.  However, the fact that large amounts of irrational prayer is standard operating procedure along with double checking the smoke color, signaling and whether you're using the right map implies that faith in the procedures has its limits (at least among those on the ground). 

duo's picture

"Targets Without Borders"?

I'm starting to think if MSF had been a little less critical of Obama, those two hospitals would be still standing.

SGKid's picture

They should call themselves "Doctors Without Hospitals"

petolo's picture

Misnomer: Doctors Without Boarders. Soon to be Borders Without Doctors. We're losing, or have long ago, lost our humanity and right to exist on this planet.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Really? Name one.

Unfortunately we can't because war crimes are classified. Isn't that how you get away with bombing hospitals with doctors and patients in them in the first place?

Just ask these people in this video and the U.S. Army pfc rotting in a jail cell for telling the truth! 


thatthingcanfly's picture

The point - which you completely missed - was that anyone who believes military pilots are conducting combat operations while high on mind-altering drugs like amphetamines, and that this is somehow a causal factor of the targeting of hospitals, is a blithering idiot who has no idea what the fuck he's talking about.


shovelhead's picture

You have to be a civilian pilot to enjoy the meth runs called the No-Doze Express.

swmnguy's picture

You are correct.  Hospitals and the rest of civilian infrastructure are not targeted due to drug use by pilots.  They are targeted because the goal of wars of Empire is to destroy the ability of people to live when and where Empire has decided they should not.  A totally different issue altogether.