Pentagon reverses itself, calls deadly Kabul strike an error


PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 18-09-2021 00:57 IST | Created: 18-09-2021 00:57 IST
Pentagon reverses itself, calls deadly Kabul strike an error
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  • United States

The Pentagon retreated from its defence of a drone strike that killed multiple civilians in Afghanistan last month, announcing Friday that an internal review revealed that only civilians were killed in the attack, not an Islamic State extremist as first believed.

“The strike was a tragic mistake,'' Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, told a Pentagon news conference.

For days after the August 29 strike, Pentagon officials asserted that it had been conducted correctly, despite numerous civilians being killed, including children.

News organisations later raised doubts about that version of events, reporting that the driver of the targeted vehicle was a longtime employee at an American humanitarian organisation and citing an absence of evidence to support the Pentagon's assertion that the vehicle contained explosives.

McKenzie said the vehicle was struck “in the earnest belief” that the targeted vehicle posed an imminent threat.

“I am now convinced that as many as 10 civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in that strike,'' McKenzie said. “Moreover, 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,'' he added, referring to the Islamic State group's Afghanistan affiliate.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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