Pentagon admits mistake in Afghan airstrike
Following a post-strike analysis of an Aug. 29 missile attack in Kabul, the U.S. military said it targeted the wrong vehicle, leading to the deaths of 10 civilians, including seven children. The head of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, called the attack “a tragic mistake” and took full responsibility. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered an investigation to see if the military considered all available information before attacking.
What happened? Troops thought an Islamic State extremist was driving a vehicle full of explosives. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley previously defended the attack as “a righteous strike.” At a Friday news conference, McKenzie revealed that the driver, Zemerai Ahmadi, was actually an employee of an American humanitarian organization. He and his family had worked for Americans and were seeking U.S. visas. The drone strike killed Ahmadi and several of his children at their family home. The United States is considering reparation payments to surviving family members.
Dig deeper: Read Emily Belz’s report on what’s next for those left in Afghanistan.
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