U.S. Drone Strike in Afghanistan Killed the Wrong Man; Family Says He's a U.S. Aid Worker: Report
A U.S. drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan that targeted ISIS-K bombers on August 29 appeared to have killed at least 10 civilians, including an innocent aid worker and seven children.
The New York Times reported that the drone strike in Kabul victimized Zemari Ahmadi, an aid worker for a charity group based in Pasadena, California. Ahmadi was the apparent target of the strike.
He was believed to be an ISIS terrorist who loaded explosives in a car to strike Kabul airport, where the U.S. military was attempting to evacuate.
Navy Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Central Command, earlier said they "successfully hit" the target vehicle that carried multiple suicide bombers from the ISIS-K.
Kabul Drone Strike Kills 10 Afghanistan Civilians Instead of ISIS-K Bombers
The drone strike that was supposed to be for the ISIS-K bombers killed Ahmadi and nine members of his family, including seven children, in a dense residential block.
U.S. officials previously admitted that there were three civilian casualties in the strike, but the New York Times reported that the actual number is 10.
"All victims were part of my family: my brother, my nephews, my children," the aid worker's brother, Romal Ahmadi, told the New York Times.
Ahmadi reportedly worked as a technical engineer for 14 years in Afghanistan for the California-based charity group Nutrition and Education International that feeds hungry Afghans. His family said the aid group had already applied for him to move to the U.S. as a refugee.
U.S. officials have also claimed that the targeted Toyota Corolla was loaded with "a substantial amount of explosive material."
However, security footage from Ahmadi's workplace obtained by the Times revealed that he only loaded his car with water containers at around 2:35 p.m., shortly before he returned home, as his neighborhood was reported to have unreliable water service. The Times has also photographed fire-damaged containers consistent with the water canisters.
Kabul Drone Strike: Second Explosion Did Not Happen
The Times report has also disputed the U.S. officials' claim that the second explosion indicated that explosive materials were ignited by the U.S. Reaper drone's Hellfire missile. Urban has said that a second explosion happened after the drone strike, signifying the explosives in the target vehicle.
However, three weapons experts told the Times that there was no evidence of a second explosion since there were no toppled walls or damaged vegetation near the targeted car. The experts said the small crater under the vehicle was consistent with a Hellfire missile.
According to Insider, the use of drones in counterterrorism operation were among the most controversial aspects of the U.S. global war due to its association with civilian casualties.
Since January 2004, the U.K.'s Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimated between more than 4,000 to 10,000 people killed by U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan, including 300 to 909 civilians.
The recent U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan have been carried out after an ISIS-K attack in Kabul airport that killed as many as 170 people, including 13 U.S. service members.
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written By: Joshua Summers
WATCH: Did a U.S. Drone Strike in Afghanistan Kill the Wrong Person? - From The New York Times
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