Report Reveals US Lied About Afghan Civilians Killed in 2021 Drone Strike

U.S. officers knew the strike killed ten relations, together with seven youngsters. They coated it up for over a 12 months.

U.S. army officers knew that an August 2021 drone strike in Kabul seemingly killed Afghan civilians together with youngsters however lied about it, a report revealed Friday revealed.

New York Instances investigative reporter Azmat Khan analyzed a 66-page redacted U.S. Central Command report on the August 29, 2021 drone strike that killed 10 members of the Ahmadi household, together with seven youngsters, outdoors their dwelling within the Afghan capital. The strike passed off in the course of the chaotic ultimate days of the U.S. floor warfare in Afghanistan, simply three days after a bombing that killed at the very least 182 individuals, together with 13 American troops, at Kabul’s worldwide airport.

Zamarai Ahmadi, a 43-year-old help employee for California-based nonprofit Vitamin and Schooling Worldwide, was carrying water containers that had been mistaken for explosives when his Toyota Corolla was bombed by a Lockheed-Martin Hellfire missile fired from a Common Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drone.

As reviews of civilian casualties started circulating hours after the strike, U.S. army officers claimed there have been “no indications” that noncombatants had been harmed within the assault, whereas stating that they’d examine whether or not a secondary explosion might have killed or wounded individuals close by.

Nevertheless, because the Instances particulars:

Parts of a U.S. Central Command investigation obtained by The New York Instances present that army analysts reported inside minutes of the strike that civilians might have been killed, and inside three hours had assessed that at the very least three youngsters had been killed.

The paperwork additionally present detailed examples of how assumptions and biases led to the lethal blunder.

Navy analysts wrongly concluded, for instance, {that a} bundle loaded into the automotive contained explosives due to its “cautious dealing with and measurement,” and that the motive force’s “erratic route” was proof that he was making an attempt to evade surveillance.


The investigation refers to a further surveillance drone not underneath army management that was additionally monitoring the car however doesn’t specify what it noticed. The Instances confirmed that the drone was operated by the CIA and noticed youngsters, presumably within the automotive, moments earlier than impression, as CNN had reported.

U.S. army officers initially claimed the “righteous strike” had prevented an imminent new assault on the airport. Nevertheless they later admitted that the botched bombing was a “horrible mistake.”

The army’s investigation was accomplished lower than two weeks after the strike. Nevertheless, it was by no means launched to the general public. The Pentagon said it would not punish anyone for killing the Ahmadi household.

Hina Shamsi, an ACLU lawyer representing households victims of the strike, told the Instances that the investigation “makes clear that army personnel noticed what they needed to see and never actuality, which was an Afghan help employee going about his every day life.”

“When affirmation bias was so lethal on this case, it’s a must to ask what number of different individuals focused by the army over time had been additionally unjustly killed,” Shamsi added.

Daphne Eviatar, who heads Amnesty Worldwide’s Safety With Human Rights program, called the brand new report “extra proof that we’d like an enormous change in how the U.S. makes use of deadly pressure and assesses and divulges its penalties.”