'Terrible Mistake': US Apologizes for Kabul Drone Strike That Killed Civilians Instead of ISIS-K Terrorists

Taking a U-turn over the highly publicized drone attack launched in Kabul, the U.S. admitted that it was mistake. As many as 10 civilians including a U.S. aid worker and seven children were killed in the deadly strike following the blast near Kabul airport.

The U.S. had carried out the drone strike on August 29 to avenge the death of 13 military persons in the deadly blasts at Kabul. Following the strike, the Pentagon had claimed to have killed two 'high-profile' ISIS-K operatives who plotted the Kabul airport blast, in a drone strike.

ISIS Kabul drone strike
Zemari Ahmadi's white corolla was targeted in the drone strike. Twitter

Zemari Ahmadi Was a U.S Aid Worker

Terming the strike as a 'terrible mistake', the head of US Central Command Gen. Frank McKenzie admitted that it was 'unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or a direct threat to U.S. forces.'

'It was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology,' McKenzie said while addressing a group of reporters.

In its report New York Times claimed that the man killed in the drone strike was an aid worker who was filling his car with water cans, instead of explosives as was being claimed by the Pentagon. The 43-year-old, Zemari Ahmadi, was working as a technical engineer for the Pasadena, California-based charity group Nutrition and Education International (NEI), which feeds hungry Afghans. The aid group had been trying to move him to the US as a refugee.

Pentagon to Compensate Victim's Family

As per the U.S. officials the MQ-9 Reaper drone scanned only one single male adult inside the white Corolla, despite presence of five children. It was following the confirmation that a Hellfire missile struck the vehicle even before the engine was shut off. The outlet claimed that among those who died, included Ahmadi (43), Zamir(20), Faisal(16), Farzad(10), Naser (30), Arwin (7), Benyamin (6), Hayat (2), Malika (3) and Somaya (3).

The Daily Mail reported that McKenzie clarified that Ahmadi's movements tracked with intelligence about ISIS plans for an attack at Kabul airport. 'I offer my profound condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed,' McKenzie continued. 'The strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and evacuees at the airport. But it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology, as the combatant commander, responsible for this strike and this tragic outcome.'

Stating that Pentagon is considering compensations for the family of the victims, McKenzie said an internal investigation is being conducted.