WASHINGTON (Dispatches) – The U.S. has acknowledged that an Aug. 29 airstrike on a vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of 10 civilians, including an aid worker and up to seven children.
Central Command Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie laid out the results of the Pentagon’s investigation into the strike, acknowledging the U.S. military made a “tragic mistake” in carrying it out.
“We now assess that 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 said, referring to Daesh’s Afghanistan affiliate.
McKenzie offered his “profound condolences” to the victims’ families, and said it “was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport.”
“But it was a mistake. And I offer my sincere apology. And as the combatant commander I am fully responsible for this strike and its tragic outcome,” he told Pentagon reporters.
Some media outlets had reported that the U.S. drone strike apparently targeted the wrong man, killing an innocent Afghan aid worker along with members of his family, but the top U.S. general described the attack as “righteous”.
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, despite the fact that no Afghan was involved in the attacks. Hundreds of thousands of Afghans died in the U.S. war of aggression on the country.
American forces occupied the country for about two decades on the pretext of fighting against the Taliban. But as the U.S. troops left Afghanistan, the Taliban stormed into Kabul, weakened by continued foreign occupation.