Pentagon Reverses Itself, Calls Deadly Kabul Strike an Error
The Ahmadi family prays this week beside the graves of relatives killed by a U.S. drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan. Zemerai Ahmadi an Afghan man who was killed, was an enthusiastic and beloved longtime employee at an American humanitarian group, his colleagues say, painting a stark contrast to Pentagon claims that he was an ISIS militant planning to attack U.S. troops. (AP)
ROBERT BURNS Friday, 17 September 2021 03:20 PM
The Pentagon retreated from its defense of a drone strike that killed multiple civilians in Afghanistan last month, announcing Friday that an internal review revealed that only civilians were killed in the attack, not an Islamic State extremist as was initially believed and claimed.
For days after the Aug. 29 strike, Pentagon officials asserted that it had been conducted correctly, despite numerous civilians being killed, including children.
News organizations later raised doubts about that version of events.
Reports quickly emerged saying that, contrary to the earlier accounts, the driver of the targeted vehicle was a longtime employee at an American humanitarian organization.
The same reports cited an absence of evidence to support the Pentagon's assertion that the vehicle contained explosives.
The controversy over the strike comes as the entire operation to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan has come under fire. Critics say the Biden administration proceeded in a chaotic, haphazard fashion, leaving Americans and allies behind as the nation was overtaken by the Taliban. The withdrawal last month brought an end to the United States' 20-year war there.
This is a developing story.