Following an investigation, a Pentagon inspector general said that a United States (US) airstrike that killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan was a mistake but did not violate any laws and doesn’t recommend any disciplinary action, reported Al Jazeera.
US Air Force Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Sami Said stated: “They all have a genuine belief based on the information they had and the interpretation, that was a threat to US forces, an imminent threat to US forces. That’s a mistake. It’s a regrettable mistake. It’s an honest mistake. I understand the consequences, but it’s not criminal conduct, random conduct, negligence.”
Lt Gen Said admitted that there had been execution errors and communication breakdowns among the US forces at the time that led to civilian casualties.
Said was asked to investigate the August 29 drone strike on a white Toyota Corolla Sedan, which killed nine family members, including seven children and a man who worked for a US aid group.
According to the US air force general, the forces believed that the car they were following was an imminent threat as the US military had intelligence that Daesh militants were planning a fresh attack on the evacuation operations but they followed the wrong car.
He revealed, “We actually never ended up tracking the actual Toyota Corolla.”
He also admitted that the people involved in conducting the operation thought the house at the site of the target was empty.
“They were convinced that the compound didn’t have children in it. It turns out to be wrong,” he said. None of the individuals conducting the operation noticed a child entering the target area just two minutes before the attack was launched.
According to Dawn, Washington is working to pay financial reparations to the victims’ families but nothing has been finalised.