Afghanistan: Raid that killed 10 civilians including 6 children was not unreasonable, an acceptable mistake?
Afghanistan–No violation of martial law, only “execution errors.” That is the result of the internal investigation conducted by the US Department of Defense into the drone raid carried out in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 29, which resulted in the death of 10 civilians, including six children.
On that occasion, the Pentagon explained that the raid, a few hours after the Isis attack on Kabul airport, neutralized an Islamic State commando. It wanted to strike again the airport from which, in those days, Afghan and foreign citizens were leaving, diplomatic and military personnel who were evacuating the country. The truth, which emerged next, is that no terrorists were moving in that car, only an innocent family.
Through General Sami Said, the Air Force inspector general, the US Defense discharges on the particular emergency state in which the country and foreign military forces were in those days. Also, the intensification of ISIS attacks and an interruption of the communications prevented the military from carrying out necessary checks on the vehicle before the bombing.
US forces remaining on the ground were at the airport, Said recalls, and intelligence thought more attacks were imminent. For this reason, the raid, which he defined as “self-defense,” was managed differently from the usual counter-terrorism performances, in which a potential target is monitored for days. As a result, military analysts had little time to evaluate the intelligence materials that indicated the car, a white Toyota Corolla driving near the terminal, as a threat.
Specifically, he revealed, it had not been possible to control and track the vehicle and its occupants in the days heading the decision to bomb it, as is usually done when the army is preparing to carry out counter-terrorism operations. For example, even in the case of the famous Abbottabad operation in Pakistan, in which the chief of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden was killed, the Pentagon monitored the building for a long time to establish an estimated error rate. Therefore, it is fair that the founder of La Base was hiding inside and verifying the presence of children in the structure, thus allowing the Navy Seal of Team Six to operate with this knowledge.
However, in this case, it was chosen to act despite not having this preliminary information, Said confessed. To that, added a technical problem. During the monitoring that preceded the attack, communications were interrupted, which hindered us from seeing the vehicle located in a place associated with the Islamic State in the province of Khorasan. When information resumed, the general added that authorization opted for it just two minutes before the US military launched the rocket. In that short period, however, according to the images and for Said himself, the presence of at least one child was evident, even if “it was not 100% obvious,” said the general.
In the rush of action, he added, the operators did not thoroughly analyze the images: “We had a lot of time to do it throughout the investigation,” he stated again, justifying the unit responsible for the attack. Conclusions that based on the information available, “in a complicated operation in a complicated scenario,” it was decided in a non-arbitrary or negligent way that the car posed a threat. “It wasn’t an unreasonable decision, just incorrect,” repeated Said. Cost ten lives of innocent civilians.