It is another brutal reminder of the disaster that unwise foreign military intervention can bring. The USA and Britain, along with their NATO allies, have wreaked havoc in that country. The war has rapidly escalated in recent months. According to the UN more than 10,000 civilians lost their lives or suffered injury during 2017. Yet, the conflict has largely slipped off the news agenda.
The UN report on this attack, which killed 107 men and boys, is harrowing. The report was published last week and underlined the risk of a new Afghan military strategy developed with US advisors. The strategy has seen a significant increase in Afghan air power. Helicopters equipped with rockets and other attack aircraft have been deployed to try to break the stalemate with the Taliban. According to the report at least 36 people, including 30 children, were killed and 71 were injured. Moreover, the helicopters continued to attack as people fled nearby roads and houses and there were allegations that the aircraft deliberately targeted civilians.
The attack is clearly a violation of international law. I have listened to what the Tánaiste has said about how the Afghan Government has to be made accountable. Does the Tánaiste agree that providing the Afghan military with such extraordinary air power is unwise given the repeated violations of international law?