May 14, 2022 12:27 pm

The US declassifies the video of the drone attack in Kabul in which ten civilians were killed

Correspondent in New York



The US Department of Defense has declassified two video recordings of the deadly attack that his army perpetrated against a supposed terrorist target in Kabul last August, in the last moments of the exit from Afghanistan. The attack was a mistake, as the Pentagon had to admit after several journalistic investigations that led to an internal investigation, and it was not a terrorist objective. Ten innocent civilians were killed, including seven minors.

The videos have been declassified after a lawsuit filed by ‘The New York Times’ based on the Freedom of Information Law, by which the media can demand the disclosure of documents like this from the Government.

The attack occurred on August 29, in the last days of the US presence.

in Afghanistan, which ended a two-decade war against the Taliban with a chaotic and tragic evacuation. The tension in Kabul was maximum those days, with thousands of people crowded into the city’s airport to try to flee with the Taliban already as owners of the country after the collapse of the government supported by Washington. Three days before the attack, a suicide bomber had killed 182 people, including thirteen US military personnel, at one of the airport entrance gates.

The Pentagon expected more terrorist attacks and the drone operation was intended to prevent another similar incident. US intelligence had monitored for several hours a man they believed to be from the Islamic State-Khorasan terror group who was driving a vehicle believed to be loaded with bombs for a new attack. Actually, it was about Zemari Ahmadi, an Afghan who works for a Californian NGO. What he had in his car were jerry cans of water.

The recordings show how a car arrives in a residential area of ​​Kabul and maneuvers through alleys until it enters a courtyard. One of the shots is from above and has low resolution, but human figures can be seen around the car, among others some smaller ones, which may be children. The other video is of better quality but the angle allows you to see less of the people around the car. The recordings include the detonation, caused by a Hellfire missile, and how later the neighbors try to put out the fire by throwing water.

After the attack, the Pentagon assured that it was a terrorist target and that the record of a second detonation showed that the car could have contained explosives.

The informations about Ahmadi’s identity and the deaths of civilians and minors prompted an internal investigation that ended with the Pentagon acknowledging that the attack was a “tragic mistake.” Despite the fact that the drone video shows at least one child minutes before the attack, the Pentagon justified that it could only be seen clearly “with the luxury of having time.”

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