A U.S. defense official has revealed that an investigation into a drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, determined 10 civilians were killed, including seven children, while no Islamic State fighters died.
The explosive devices the military claimed were loaded in the Toyota targeted by the strike were likely water bottles, according to The New York Times.
The report also noted a secondary explosion related to the event was most likely a propane or gas tank.
“The official also acknowledged that the driver of the car, Zemari Ahmadi, a longtime worker for a U.S. aid group, had nothing to do with ISIS, as military officials had previously asserted,” the Times reported.
“It was a mistake,” the official said, according to the report.
“It was a mistake … I offer my sincere apology” — Gen. Kenneth McKenzie confirms that a drone strike last month in Afghanistan killed “as many as 10 civilians, including up to 7 children” and didn’t actually hit an ISIS-K target pic.twitter.com/CIBpbn37o9
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 17, 2021
“Having thoroughly reviewed the findings of the investigation … I am now convinced that as many as 10 civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in that strike,” Marine Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, told reporters Friday, according to The Washington Post.
“It is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or were a direct threat to U.S. forces,” he added.
“Gen. McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, to announce no ISIS-K fighters killed in U.S. drone strike in Kabul Aug 29,” Fox News Pentagon correspondent Lucas Tomlinson tweeted.
“10 civilians killed, including 7 children in Toyota. No disciplinary action expected, officials say. US military stands by intel leading to strike,” Tomlinson added.
BREAKING: Gen. McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, to announce no ISIS-K fighters killed in U.S. drone strike in Kabul Aug 29. 10 civilians killed, including 7 children in Toyota. No disciplinary action expected, officials say. US military stands by intel leading to strike.
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) September 17, 2021
CBS News correspondent David Martin also tweeted the breaking news on Friday.
“[T]he 8/29 drone strike in Kabul, which Gen. Mark Milley described as a ‘righteous strike,’ killed an aid worker along with 9 members of his family, + 7 children,” Martin said.
NEW from @CBSDavidMartin: A defense official says an investigation by the U.S. Central Command has determined that the 8/29 drone strike in Kabul, which Gen. Mark Milley described as a “righteous strike,” killed an aid worker along with 9 members of his family, + 7 children.
— Jake Rosen (@JakeMRosen) September 17, 2021
The news follows a series of problems with the U.S. military’s departure from Afghanistan on Aug. 31. The Taliban took power over the nation more quickly than expected, requiring massive evacuations at the Kabul airport.
In addition, 13 U.S. military personnel were killed along with more than 150 Afghans in a suicide bombing outside of the Kabul airport in the final days of evacuations.
After Aug. 31, many reports of Americans stranded in Afghanistan have also emerged, angering many over what they see as Biden leaving citizens behind to the Taliban.
This is a breaking story. Updates may be added.
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