An probe of the airstrike, which mistakenly killed 10 civilians, including 7 children, did not urge immoderate disciplinary action.
Nov. 3, 2021, 4:16 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON — Surveillance videos showed the beingness of astatine slightest 1 kid successful the country immoderate 2 minutes earlier the subject launched a drone onslaught connected a tract successful Kabul, Afghanistan, successful August, the Defense Department said connected Wednesday.
But the wide who conducted the investigation into the U.S. airstrike, which the subject has acknowledged mistakenly killed 10 civilians, including 7 children, said the footage showing the beingness of a kid would person been casual to miss successful existent time.
The enquiry by the Air Force’s inspector general, Lt. Gen. Sami D. Said, recovered nary violations of instrumentality and does not urge immoderate disciplinary action. The wide blamed a bid of assumptions, made implicit the people of 8 hours arsenic American officials tracked a achromatic Toyota Corolla done Kabul, for causing what helium called “confirmation bias,” starring to the Aug. 29 strike.
“That appraisal was chiefly driven by interpretation,” the wide said connected Wednesday during an unclassified briefing connected the study to quality media astatine the Pentagon. “Regrettably, the interpretational appraisal was inaccurate.”
While General Said acknowledged that the subject had video footage showing a kid astatine the tract 2 minutes earlier the launch, helium said that helium was unsure whether anyone who was not specifically looking for grounds of a kid would person picked up connected it.
“Two autarkic reviews that I conducted, the carnal grounds of a kid was evident astatine the 2-minute point,” helium said. “But it is 100 percent not obvious; you person to beryllium looking for it.”
Planners progressive successful the onslaught “had a genuine content that determination was an imminent menace to U.S. forces,” the wide said. He acknowledged that was “a mistake” but added that “it’s not negligence.”
General Said insisted that the onslaught has to beryllium considered successful the discourse of the moment, with American officials astatine a heightened authorities of alert aft a termination bombing astatine the Kabul airdrome 3 days earlier killed astir 170 civilians and 13 U.S. troops.
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III ordered the reappraisal of the military’s archetypal enquiry into the drone onslaught to determine, among different issues, who should beryllium held accountable and “the grade to which onslaught authorities, procedures and processes request to beryllium altered successful the future.”
Almost everything elder defence officials asserted successful the hours, days and weeks aft the drone onslaught turned retired to beryllium false. The explosives the subject claimed were loaded successful the trunk of a achromatic sedan struck by the drone’s Hellfire rocket were astir apt h2o bottles. And a secondary detonation successful the courtyard successful the densely populated Kabul vicinity wherever the onslaught took spot was astir apt a propane oregon state tank, officials said.
The operator of the achromatic sedan that was struck by the American drone, Zemari Ahmadi, was employed by Nutrition & Education International, a California-based assistance organization.
Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the caput of Central Command, said successful a quality league successful September that the onslaught was carried retired “in the profound belief” that ISIS was astir to motorboat different onslaught connected Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Since then, the Pentagon offered unspecified condolence payments to the household of the 10 civilians, including 7 children, were who killed successful the Aug. 29 drone strike.
Understand the Taliban Takeover successful Afghanistan
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The Pentagon has besides said it was moving with the State Department to assistance surviving members of the household relocate to the United States.
Congress has authorized the Pentagon to wage up to $3 cardinal a twelvemonth for payments to compensate for spot damage, idiosyncratic wounded oregon deaths related to the actions of U.S. equipped forces, arsenic good arsenic for “hero payments” to the household members of section allied forces, specified arsenic Afghan oregon Iraqi troops warring Al Qaeda oregon ISIS.
Condolence payments for deaths caused by the American subject person varied wide successful caller years. In fiscal 2019, for instance, the Pentagon offered 71 specified payments — ranging from $131 to $35,000 — successful Afghanistan and Iraq.
The acknowledgment of the mistaken onslaught came a week aft a New York Times probe of video grounds challenged assertions by the subject that it had struck a conveyance carrying explosives meant for the airport.