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Pentagon admits mistake in Afghan airstrike

U.S. Gen. Frank McKenzie Associated Press/Photo by Ahmad Seir (file)

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.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.



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Big Jim

I am still waiting for accountability from this administration regarding actions in Afghanistan. Has anyone been fired? Anyone resign? Anyone been taken out back to the woodshed? Or are we already on to the next issue?

My Two CentsBig Jim

Next issue. Vaccine mandates, electric cars, global warming. 3.7 trillion spending package. Never you mind, this administration is taking care of it. Pay no attention to the the past, even a few weeks past. That’s why we are called progressives.


If Afghanistan didn’t have enough problems, now the Islamic State group is attacking the Taliban. Several roadside bombs and vehicle bombings this weekend in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan. IS has claimed responsibility.


This is what "over the horizon" intelligence looks like. This is a result of Biden's actions. The president has responsibility.

My Two Cents

Afghanistan is an unmitigated disaster. Even with the fog of war, how in the world could a drone mistake seven children for a terrorist? Furthermore, the US pulled out prior to this strike. The war was declared OVER by the commander in chief a few days prior. Tragic mistake indeed, and the general should resign his commission, as should Lloyd Austin. Military intelligence 101 should include pictures. This is a terrorist. This is a child. A humanitarian organization is not a terrorist group.