U.S. Military Releases Declassified Footage of Drone Strike in Kabul That Killed 10 Civilians

The United States military on Jan. 19 released declassified surveillance footage of the controversial drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, including seven children, during the hasty withdrawal of troops last August.

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) released three videos that show the tense moments before and after the military launched a strike on a white Toyota Corolla in the Afghan capital.

The New York Times obtained the videos as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against CENTCOM.

The footage showed the car making its way along the streets in Kabul, then a missile incinerates it after it parked in a dense residential neighborhood.

The footage further showed crowds gathering at the site of the explosion and some people on rooftops overhead tried to extinguish the flames by pouring buckets of water.

The military believed that the driver of the car was an ISIS-K member moving explosives. In reality, the man was Zemari Ahmadi, an Afghan who worked for the Nutrition and Education International, an aid organization focused on food security.

“While the strike was intended for what was believed to be an imminent threat to our troops at Hamad Karzai International Airport, none of the family members killed are now believed to have been connected to ISIS-K or threats to our troops,” CENTCOM Captain Bill Urban said upon release of the videos.

“We deeply regret the loss of life that resulted from this strike,” Urban further said.

No one has been held accountable for the strike.

The military initially defended the strike, but after about three weeks, they acknowledged that it was a tragic mistake.

Three days before the strike, an ISIS-K suicide bomber had killed over 180 people, including 13 U.S. service members, at the Kabul airport.


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