The United States admitted on Friday that it had made a “tragic mistake” in carrying out a drone attack in Kabul that killed ten civilians, seven of them children, on August 29.
This has been indicated by the head of the United States Central Command, General Kenneth F. McKenzie, in statements to journalists at the Pentagon. It should be remembered that last month the US Defense Department had referred to the operation as a “fair attack”, explaining that it had received information about a possible attack with explosives.
Although at the time the government was convinced of its attack, this Friday it admitted that there were no terrorists among the victims. This was pointed out by McKenzie, head of the United States Central Command, during the press conference.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin explained in a statement that Mckenzie informed him this morning that the attack was intended to target an “imminent” threat to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, but it turned out to be a mistake and caused the death of civilians. The drone attacked a vehicle in which US forces thought there were militants of the Islamic State terrorist group when in fact it was driven by Zemari Ahmadi, a worker for an American NGO.
“On behalf of the Department of Defense, I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those who were killed, including Mr. Ahmadi and the staff of Nutrition and International Education, Mr. Ahmadi’s company,” Austin said.
He added that the department knows that there was no connection between Ahmadi and ISIS, and that their activities were completely “harmless” and not related to the “imminent threat” against which the attack was directed. “Mr. Ahmadi is just an innocent victim as were the others who died tragically in this incident,” Lloyd said.
“We apologize and will endeavor to learn from this horrible mistake,” the defense secretary said. He added that he has ordered the Central Command a thorough investigation to elucidate what happened and promised that those responsible will be held accountable for the error.