No one is expected to be held accountable for the U.S. drone strike that killed 10 innocent people in Afghanistan, including seven children, in the final days of the Afghanistan War, according to a Fox News correspondent.
On Friday, the Pentagon admitted that those killed in the drone strike — described initially as retaliation for the attacks at the Kabul airport on August 26 — were not members of the terrorist group ISIS-K or even a threat to U.S. forces. Before the Pentagon made the admission, officials told Lucas Tomlinson, who covers the Pentagon for Fox News, that no disciplinary action is expected.
“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,” Tomlinson reported.
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
As The Daily Wire reported on Friday, the Pentagon acknowledged that drone strike was a “tragic mistake,” without indicating whether anyone in the intelligence community would be held accountable for the bad intel or bad call that killed an Afghan aid worker and nine others, including seven children. As The New York Times reported:
Times reporting has identified the driver as Zemari Ahmadi, a longtime worker for a U.S. aid group. The evidence, including extensive interviews with family members, co-workers and witnesses, suggests that his travels that day actually involved transporting colleagues to and from work. And an analysis of video feeds showed that what the military may have seen was Mr. Ahmadi and a colleague loading canisters of water into his trunk to bring home to his family. While the U.S. military said the drone strike might have killed three civilians, Times reporting shows that it killed 10, including seven children, in a dense residential block.
Ahmadi worked for Nutrition and Education International (NEI), a U.S.-based organization. He was leaving for work on the morning of the drone strike when the U.S. began surveilling his white sedan, allegedly because he had left what was believed to be an ISIS safe house.
“We now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or a direct threat to US forces,” said Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of the United States Central Command. McKenzie added that the “investigation now concludes that our strike was a tragic mistake.”
The admission is yet another black eye for the Biden administration, which has been heavily criticized for how it ended the Afghanistan War.
“It is unclear if officials were referring to one of the three stops that Mr. Ahmadi made to pick up two passengers and the laptop on his way to work: The latter location, the home of N.E.I.’s country director, was close to where a rocket attack claimed by ISIS would be launched against the airport the following morning, from an improvised launcher concealed inside the trunk of a Toyota Corolla, a model similar to Mr. Ahmadi’s vehicle,” the Times reported. “Throughout the day, an MQ-9 Reaper drone continued to track Mr. Ahmadi’s vehicle as it drove around Kabul, and U.S. officials claimed they intercepted communications between the sedan and the alleged ISIS safe house, instructing it to make several stops. But the people who rode with Mr. Ahmadi that day said that what the military interpreted as a series of suspicious moves was simply a normal day at work.”
The drone strike was meant as a response to a terrorist attack on the Kabul airport, which killed 13 members of the U.S. military and dozens more.