Pentagon announces disciplinary decision over Kabul drone attack that killed 10 civilians

No US troops were involved in the August drone attack that left innocent civilians and children in Kabul facing disciplinary action, US defense officials said. US defense officials said Monday.

Officials said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had approved disciplinary recommendations from the generals leading US Central Command and US Special Operations Command, based on the results of the investigation. An independent review by the Pentagon was released last month.

The review, conducted by Air Force Lt. Gen. Sami Said and confirmed by Austin in November, revealed problems in communications and in the identification and confirmation of the target of the bombing that killed 10 civilians. , of which 7 children died.

However, he concluded that the strike – happened under the Biden administration chaotic withdrawals from Afghanistan – was a tragic mistake and was not caused by misconduct or negligence.

Austin asked General Frank McKenzie, head of Central Command, and General Richard Clark, head of Special Operations Command, to review Said’s conclusions and make recommendations to him.


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The two commanders agreed with Said’s findings and did not recommend any disciplinary action, the officials said, adding that Austin endorsed their decision.

Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the decisions have not been made public.

Austin’s latest endorsement was first reported by The New York Times.

The August 29 drone attack on a white Toyota Corolla sedan killed Zemerai Ahmadi and nine family members, including seven children. Ahmadi, 37, is a longtime employee of an American humanitarian organization.

In one news conference to Austin on September 1, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “At this point, we think the procedures were followed correctly and that’s a legitimate attack.”

Milley also stated that “at least one of those killed was an ISIS operator.”

Intelligence about the vehicle and its potential threat came just days after an Islamic State suicide bombing killed 13 American soldiers and 169 Afghans at a Kabul airport gate. The United States is trying to evacuate thousands of Americans, Afghans and other allies amid the collapse of the government.


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Said concluded that US forces truly believed the vehicle they were pursuing was an imminent threat and that they needed to attack it before it approached the airfield.

He said better communication between strike decision-makers and other support staff could have raised more suspicions about the bombing but may not have been prevented.

Said made a number of recommendations, including doing more to prevent what military officials call “confirmation bias” – the idea that the military makes offensive decisions too quickly. to conclude that what they saw matched intelligence and confirm their conclusion with bombing what turned out to be a false vehicle.

He also said that the military should have personnel present with a strike team, and its job should be to actively question such conclusions.

Finally, Said recommended that the military improve its procedures to ensure that children and other innocent civilians are not present before launching an attack at a sensitive time.

Officials said McKenzie and Clarke largely agreed with Said’s recommendations.

The United States is working to pay financial reparations for loved ones and surviving family members, and potentially getting them out of Afghanistan, but nothing has been done yet.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have changed it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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