Washington D.C.: The drone strike carried out by the United States in Kabul killed 10 civilians and not IS militants, admitted a top general of the US military.
The strike, a macabre coda to the 20 year US war in Afghanistan, was meant to target a suspected IS operation that US intelligence had “reasonable certainty” aimed to attack the Kabul airport, said US Central Command commander General Kenneth McKenzie.
“The strike was a tragic mistake,” McKenzie told reporters after an investigation.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin apologized to the relatives of those killed in a statement.
“I offer my deepest condolences to surviving family members of those who were killed,” Austin said in a statement.
“We apologize, and we will endevour to learn from this horrible mistake,” he said.
On August 26 an Islamic State-Khorasan suicide bomber had killed scores at the airport, including 13 US service members. Huge crowds were there clamoring to get inside and on board one of the final evacuation flights out of the country.
“There were over 60 clear threat vectors that we were dealing with at this time,” McKenzie said.
US officials believed that the car had been loaded with explosives. The New York Times reported that it was filled with canisters of water.
McKenzie said that no civilians had been spotted in the area at the time the strike was authorized.