Pentagon admits Kabul drone strike killed civilians, apologises to victims

The Pentagon admitted Friday that a U.S. drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan last month killed as many as 10 civilians including up to seven children. It announced that an internal review revealed that 10 Afghan civilians were killed in US drone strike done on August 29, over Kabul.

Gen Frank Mckenzie, Commander of US Central Command said that the drone strike that killed 10 civilians in Kabul on Aug 29 was a “tragic mistake”. “As the combatant commander, I am fully responsible for this strike and its tragic outcome,” U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters. “I offer my profound condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed,” McKenzie said. The U.S. is considering reparation payments to surviving family members, the general said. However, McKenzie said making such payments could prove difficult because the U.S. no longer has a presence in Afghanistan. Moreover, US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin III too apologized for the drone strike. The 10 dead were all members of the same extended family, relatives told NBC News, and included the seven children. Some were as young as 2 and 3. The Pentagon originally said the strike, which was launched Aug. 29, killed two ISIS-K fighters believed to be involved in planning attacks against U.S. forces in Kabul. The strike was launched after last month’s deadly suicide bombing near Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. military members and scores of Afghan civilians, and was initially said to have prevented another attack. US President Joe Biden had directed the US Armed Forces to conduct the drone attack in retaliation for the deadly suicide bombing that killed 13 US military personnel, and nearly 170 Afghans.