Top US general apologizes and says it is ‘unlikely’ that those killed in Afghanistan will be associated with ISKP.
General Frank McKenzie, the head of the US Central Command, acknowledged that a US drone attack in Kabul in late August killed 10 civilians.
McKenzie said on Friday that it was “unlikely” that the killings were related to the Islamic State in the Khorasan province, ISKP (ISIS-K), as originally claimed by the U.S. military.
“After thoroughly reviewing the findings of the investigation and the supportive analysis by partners between agencies, I am now convinced that as many as 10 civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed during the strike,” Mckenzie said.
The U.S. general expressed deep sympathy for the families of the victims and stressed that the strike was taken with the “serious conviction” that it would prevent a looming attack on the airport where U.S. forces were evacuating people.
“It was a mistake, and I offer my sincere apologies,” McKenzie said. As a fighter, I am fully responsible for this strike and this tragic outcome.
The strike on August 29 comes days after a suicide bombing near the airport, claimed by ISKP, killed at least 175 people, including 13 U.S. servicemen.
Relatives of the victims told Al Jazeera after the attack that the ten people killed were from two to 40 years old.
“They were innocent, helpless children,” Aimal Ahmadi, whose nieces and nephews were killed in the strike, told Al Jazeera at the time.
This is a news report. More to follow…