The United States severely criticized the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday for authorizing an investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by American armed forces and other parties to the conflict in Afghanistan.
“This is a truly breathtaking action by an unaccountable political institution, masquerading as a legal body,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in Washington just hours after the ICC announced its ruling.
“The ICC today stumbled into a sorry affirmation of every denunciation made by its harshest critics,” he said.
The ICC in The Hague announced its ruling Thursday, overturning an April 2019 rejection of the probe into allegations of crimes against humanity in Afghanistan.
“The Appeals Chamber considers it appropriate to amend the appealed decision to the effect that the prosecutor is authorized to commence an investigation into alleged crimes committed on the territory of Afghanistan since May 1, 2003,” Presiding Judge Piotr Hofmanski said.
The decision will allow ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to examine the actions of U.S. armed forces and members of the CIA, the Taliban insurgency, Afghan government security forces and other armed groups operating in Afghanistan.