US General admits “tragic mistake” of killing civilians

Car explosion after a military attack Car explosion after a military attack Jeff Kingma on istock

30 September 2021

In each military campaign, so-called targeted killings by the United States have murdered or injured local people in their own homes.

On 29 August in the Afghan capital of Kabul, Zemari Ahmadi and his family died in a U.S. drone strike aimed at killing a member of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS-K. Less than a month later, 17 September, General Kenneth McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, conceded that therehad been no connection with terrorism and the deaths of those 10 people had been a “tragic mistake” – Ahmadi had been an aid worker, the containers he was seen loading were not explosives but jugs filled with water, and seven of the victims were children.

The Pentagon admission is a rare exception. Paul O’Brien, executive director of Amnesty International USA, affirmed: “For two decades the United States has carried out strikes with no accountability to the public for how many civilians were killed by U.S. actions in Afghanistan and other countries. It is unconscionable that the Biden administration continues airstrikes in this shroud of secrecy.” Afghans, Syrians, Iraqis and other nationalities have been victims of indiscriminate attacks that did not distinguish between military and civilian targets.

Although the United Nations and other non-governmental organizations exhorted the United States to stop, or at least contain, civilian casualties, the Taliban advance seemed enough to justify neglecting the international pressure. Paul O’Brien said, “The United States has a responsibility to the families of those killed: to name the dead, acknowledge its actions, investigate and provide reparations.” For now, still after one month, Ahmadi’s wife and daughter are vulnerable and alone in a country where women are not allowed to leave the house without a male partner.


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Author: Melissa Viselli; Editor: Andrew Goodell

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