(CNN) — Senior US military leaders testified during a hearing before Congress on Wednesday that they learned that civilians were killed in the drone attack in Kabul at the end of August hours after it happened, and that it was only days later that they learned that the attack It was a mistake.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and Central Command Chief Gen. Frank McKenzie testified about America’s exit from Afghanistan before lawmakers, and there they referred to the drone attack that took place on August 29 in Kabul.
Days after it happened, the US military acknowledged that they did not hit their ISIS target, instead the drone targeted civilians and killed 10 people, including seven children.
McKenzie said they didn’t know the attack was a “mistake” until a few days later, but they did learn that civilians were killed within hours of the attack.
“We learned that the attack hit civilians about four or five hours after the attack occurred. And the United States central command issued a press release saying that. We did not know that the objective of the attack was a mistake, a mistake, until a few days later, but we found out pretty soon, “McKenzie said.
Investigation reveals the attack was a “mistake”
Previously, the Pentagon had argued that at least one ISIS-K facilitator and three civilians were killed in the attack, which had been called “fair.” President Joe Biden, for his part, had highlighted it as an example of the United States’ ability to attack the terrorist group.
However, a subsequent investigation, the results of which were known days ago, revealed that the attack actually killed 10 civilians and that the driver and the vehicle it was directed at were probably not an ISIS-K associated threat.
At the time, McKenzie acknowledged the mistake, adding that he was “fully responsible for this attack and this tragic result.”
“This attack was carried out with the conviction that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport, but it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apologies,” he said.
For his part, at the time the Secretary of Defense offered his condolences to the family of Zamarai Ahmadi, the driver of the attacked car.
“We now know that there was no connection between Mr. Ahmadi and ISIS-Khorasan, that their activities that day were completely harmless and not related at all to the imminent threat we believed we were facing, and that Mr. Ahmadi he was as innocent a victim as the others who died tragically, “he said.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism