The Pentagon is now investigating the drone strike that President Joe Biden ordered which targeted a car with an ISIS-K suicide bomber in it that also reportedly killed a family of nine including six children.
The vehicle allegedly had explosives in it along with the suicide bomber and was sitting in a residential neighborhood of Kabul. According to a relative who spoke with CNN, the entire family was wiped out.
Reports are not clear on exactly what happened. The vehicle that was targeted was next to a building and ostensibly had one suicide bomber in it. It is unknown if the vehicle was being used as a car bomb or was transporting a bomb.
“It was loaded up and ready to go,” an unnamed official told CNN.
Originally, the Pentagon believed the car contained multiple suicide bombers. They are now “assessing the possibilities of civilian casualties, though we have no indications at this time.” But reports on the ground seem to tell another story.
(Video Credit: Sky News Australia)
An anonymous senior U.S. official told the Associated Press news agency that Sunday’s attack was conducted after individuals were seen loading explosives into a vehicle parked in a residential compound near Kabul airport. Al Jazeera is reporting that the drone fired a Hellfire missile at the car obliterating it and anyone that was in the vicinity.
A witness to the drone strike told a reporter with CNN that “a rocket hit and six people were in there who have been killed. There was a car inside.”
Another man said that he heard what sounded like a rocket and was able to access the scene from a neighbor’s house.
“First we managed to remove a 3- to 4-year old child. The fire and smoke had engulfed the whole area,” he stated. He noted that “three people were inside the car” and three others were outside. The injured, which included children, were taken to the hospital, he added.
Video footage of the drone strike today against #ISIS VBIED in #Kabul … #Afghanistan is far more dangerous than it was pre 9-11 Also, civilians killed – this won’t just stay in Kabul … a bigger group of Terrorist monsters now have a safe haven again. pic.twitter.com/523eZXlwNJ
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) August 29, 2021
The brother of one of those killed stated that the youngest to die was a 2-year-old girl.
They were just “an ordinary family,” he sadly said. “We are not ISIS or Daesh and this was a family home — where my brothers lived with their families.”
9 killed by U.S rocket attack today in Kabul, who are they?
1: Zemaray, Interpreter
2: Naseer, Army officer
2: Zameer, Shopkeeper
4: Faisal, Student
5: Farzad, Student
6: Ayat, 2 years old
7: Sumaya, 2 years old
8: Armin, 4 years old
9: Binyamen, 3 years old pic.twitter.com/pRajIF00Yd
— Muslim Shirzad (@MuslimShirzad) August 29, 2021
Footage: Kabul-U.S. rocket attack
9 people, including 6 children killed. I want to confirm with complete responsibility, they were not members of IS-K. pic.twitter.com/6arU5s1tkY
— Muslim Shirzad (@MuslimShirzad) August 29, 2021
“All the neighbors tried to help and brought water to put out the fire and I saw that there were five or six people dead,” one neighbor told CNN. “The father of the family and another young boy and there were two children. They were dead. They were in pieces. There were [also] two wounded.”
Yet another neighbor estimated there may have been as many as 20 killed in the drone strike. “Not much is left of their house and nothing can be recognized, they are in pieces,” he recounted.
Another report coming out of the aftermath of the drone strike contends that neighbors and onlookers “removed six dead bodies” and it is believed that there are “children who are still missing.”
The military is now admitting to reports of civilian casualties after the strike.
“We know that there were substantial and powerful subsequent explosions resulting from the destruction of the vehicle, indicating a large amount of explosive material inside that may have caused additional casualties. It is unclear what may have happened, and we are investigating further,” Capt. Bill Urban, who is a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said in a statement.
“We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life,” he asserted.
This is the second drone strike by U.S. forces following the deadly bombing at the Kabul airport that left 13 American service members dead. The drone strike was confirmed to have taken place in Kabul’s Khaje Bughra neighborhood.
“US military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamid Karzai International Airport,” a CENTCOM statement read.
The US carried out a defensive airstrike via drone in Kabul Sunday targeting a suspected ISIS-K car bomb that was targeting the airport, a US defense official tells @OrenCNN. The official said a significant secondary explosion indicated substantial amount of explosive material.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 29, 2021
“Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material,” it concluded.
U.S. @CENTCOM UOTH airstrike in residential area on ‘vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent’ ISKP threat to the airport. Reports of civilians and children being killed. Statement says ‘assessing possibilities of civilian casualties, though no indications at this time’ https://t.co/3ncuiExldU pic.twitter.com/HyttbR4TKK
— amitabh p revi (@amitabhprevi) August 29, 2021
Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesperson, declared that it was “not right to conduct operations on others’ soil” and that the U.S. should have informed the Taliban prior to the strike. “Whenever the U.S. conducts such operations, we condemn them,” he proclaimed.
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