A senior general admitted the United States made a “mistake” in launching a drone strike against suspected Islamic State fighters in Kabul during the hectic final days of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan last month 10 civilians, including children, were killed.
The attack, a macabre coda for the 20-year US war in Afghanistan, was intended to target a suspected IS operation by the US intelligence services “with Adequate security “aim to attack Kabul airport, said US Central Command Commander General Kenneth McKenzie.
” The attack was a tragic mistake, “McKenzie told reporters after an investigation.
< US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin apologized in a statement to the relatives of those killed.
“I extend my deepest condolences to the surviving family members of those killed,” Austin said in a statement.
“We apologize and will endeavor to learn from terrible mistakes,” he said.
McKenzie said the government was investigating how payments to the families of those killed could be harmed .
White Toyota Corolla
The general said that the US armed forces on 29 website in Kabul, which the secret service had identified as a place, from which IS agents are attacking allegedly used the Kabul airport, he said.
“We chose this car because it was moving in a target area we knew,” said McKenzie.
“Our information was clear wrong that particular white Toyota, “he said.
The drone attack killed 10 people, including seven children, according to McKenzie, none of whom were ultimately related to IS.
McKenzie defended them US “self-defense strike” operation amid concerns over airport attack en in the last days of the chaotic evacuation.
On August 26, an Islamic State – suicide bombers from Khorasan killed dozens at the airport, including 13 US soldiers. Huge crowds clamored for one of the final evacuation flights out of the country.
“At this point, we were dealing with over 60 unique threat vectors,” said McKenzie.
US officials walked away found that the car was loaded with explosives. The New York Times reported that it was filled with water cans.
McKenzie said no civilians had been sighted in the area at the time the attack was authorized.
One of those killed was an Afghan who worked for the US aid group Ezmarai Ahmadi.
“We now know that there was no connection between Mr. Ahmadi and ISIS. Khorasan”, Austin said.
He said Ahmadi’s activities that day were “completely harmless” and the man was “an innocent victim as much as the others tragically killed”.
Ahmadis Brother Aimal told AFP that the car was filled with kids pretending parking was an adventure.
“The missile came and hit the car full of kids in our house,” he said.
“It killed them all.”
“My brother and his four children were killed. I lost my little daughter … nephews and nieces,” he said heartbroken.
AFP was unable to independently verify Aimal’s account.
“On behalf of the men and women of the Department of Defense, I address the surviving family members of those killed, including Mr. Ahmadi, and Nutrition staff Education International, Mr. Ahmadi’s employer, my deepest condolences, “said Austin.
More than 71,000 Afghan and Pakistani civilians died as a direct result of the war that the United States wore after the 11th attacks, according to one Brown University study in April.