Creating new perspectives since 2009

No misconduct in mistaken Afghan airstrike, Pentagon review says

November 4, 2021 at 6:37 pm

US Air Force Lt. Gen. Sami D. Said holds a press conference in Pentagon Arlington-Virginia, United States on November 3, 2021 [Yasin Öztürk – Anadolu Agency]

The US drone strike that killed innocent Kabul civilians and children in the final days of the Afghanistan war was not caused by misconduct or negligence, and it does not recommend any disciplinary action, an independent Pentagon review said, AP reports.

According to the report, the review, done by Air Force Lt. Gen., Sami Said, found there was some misunderstanding in communication and in the process of identifying and confirming the target of the bombing.

Gen. Said also added that the mistaken strike happened, despite prudent measures to prevent civilian deaths.

“I found that, given the information they had and the analysis that they did—I understand they reached the wrong conclusion, but … was it reasonable to conclude what they concluded based on what they had? It was not unreasonable. It just turned out to be incorrect,” Said said.

READ: After pro-Taliban post, ex-Afghan leader says Facebook account hacked

Said’s review said the drone strike must be considered in the context of the moment, as US forces under stress were being flooded by information about threats to troops and civilians at the Kabul airport, just days after a deadly suicide bombing.

The review also said better communication between those making the strike decision and other support personnel might have raised more doubts about the bombing but, in the end, may not have prevented it.

Last August, thousands of Afghans were escaping from the airport, trying to get out of the country following the Taliban takeover.

The intelligence about the car and its potential threat came just days after an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 13 US troops and 169 Afghans at a Kabul airport gate.

The US was working to evacuate thousands of Americans, Afghans and other allies in the wake of the collapse of the country’s government.

On the other hand, the US is working to pay financial reparations to the family, and potentially get them out of Afghanistan, but nothing has been finalised, the report says.