Pentagon calls Kabul strike ‘tragic mistake’
UPDATED 9:15 AM PT – Monday, September 20, 2021
The Pentagon admitted that a drone strike in Afghanistan was a “tragic mistake” after the Biden administration hailed it as “righteous” for weeks. An apology from the U.S. appears to mean little to Kabul residents who are now mourning after the strike killed 10 people last month. Seven of those casualties were children.
Sone Kabul resident said the attack should have never happened in a residential area. They have called for the perpetrators to be punished for their actions and suggested the victims deserve compensation.
Head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie initially claimed the strike targeted an ISIS-K suicide bomber who posed an imminent threat to U.S. troops during the final stages of the withdrawal. However, he now he admits the Pentagon got it wrong.
“We now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS or were a direct threat to U.S. forces,” stated the general. Pentagon officials rarely make personal apologies, but McKenzie said the U.S. is working to potentially compensate the families.
Sources say U.S. officials targeted the innocent aid worker based on a single visit to a suspected ISIS-K safe house. The intelligence agency did not know the man’s identity while tracking his movements and didn’t learn of his innocence until after he, along with seven children, were dead.
According to reports Saturday, the CIA had foreknowledge that innocent children would be killed in the drone strike and tried to warn Biden. By the time the warnings came through, however, the missile was seconds from its target. Yet, that didn’t stop the Biden administration from publicly touting the operations success..
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley immediately hailed the attack as a “righteous strike” in what appeared to be an effort to divert the public’s attention from the 13 service members killed in a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport just days earlier.
GOP lawmakers have now come down hard on the administration for it’s deadly mistake. For instance, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) said that war always has collateral damage, but Biden’s drone-striking only innocent people then directly lying to the public about it should never have been allowed or be forgotten.
“I wanna know why the Biden administration spiked the ball and claimed they took out ISIS-K when, in fact, it was a nutrition aid worker and 7 children,” she stated. “It continues on the full scale debacle that is this withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
Wagner also said Biden’s so-called “over the horizon” security in Afghanistan is a myth and the U.S. homeland is in a worse security situation than it has been in years. The representative maintained that Biden wanted out at any cost and the cost has been more than $85 billion in equipment and 13 dead service members.
In a tweet, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) asked if Biden personally ordered the drone strike. The Republican pointed out that former President Barack Obama ordered numerous strikes personally, including one that targeted a wedding.
Obama authorized individual drone killings. Is it unreasonable to ask if Biden approved this killing of an aid worker and 7 children? https://t.co/3rlb3KbutT
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 18, 2021
The Republican senator believes that future tragedies can be prevented if Congress fights to take back its own war powers.