US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Thursday attacked as “reckless” a ruling by international war crimes judges that a probe into wartime abuses in Afghanistan, including possible atrocities by American forces, must go ahead.

“This is a truly breathtaking action by an unaccountable political institution masquerading as a legal body,” Pompeo told a news conference following the ruling at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

“All the more reckless for this ruling to come just days after the United States signed a historic peace deal on Afghanistan, which is the best chance for peace and a generation.”

International war crimes judges ruled on Thursday that a probe into wartime abuses in Afghanistan must go ahead, including looking into possible atrocities committed by US forces, as they overturned a previous court ruling.

The move was immediately hailed by human rights organisations as a “pivotal moment” for victims of the central Asian country’s 18-year-war since the 2001 US invasion.

ICC prosecutors previously said their investigation would include alleged war crimes by US Central Intelligence Agency operatives at detention facilities, referred to as “black sites” in ICC member countries like Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

At least 24 suspects were subjected to torture at these secret prisons between 2003-2004, the prosecutors said.

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