Relatives of an Afghan family wiped out by the United States military under the negligent oversight of the Biden administration demanded reparations and punishment for those responsible.
“Today it was good news for us that United States officially admitted that they had attacked innocent civilians,” Emal Ahmadi, father of 3-year-old Malika who was struck dead by the drone along with others, told Deutsche Welle on Saturday. “Our innocence has been proven.”
“We demand justice from international institutions… Then we want compensation.”
U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. admitted at a news conference Friday that the Aug. 29 drone strike was a “mistake” that slaughtered “as many as 10 civilians including up to seven children.
The official statement on the erroneous attack came after The New York Times published a damning report on Sept. 10 that uncovered that contrary to the Pentagon’s earlier claims, the person the Biden administration killed along with his family was not, in fact, a terrorist carrying suicide bombs in his vehicle, but Zemari Ahmadi, an aid worker who was “loading canisters of water into his trunk to bring home to his family.”
“U.S. officials said a Reaper drone followed a car for hours and then fired based on evidence it was carrying explosives,” a Times summary headline stated. “But in-depth video analysis and interviews at the site cast doubt on that account.”
The report pointed out how the military under the Biden administration’s oversight misinterpreted the activities of an aid worker for that of a terrorist, eventually ending up killing Zemari along with several children and other civilians, some of the children between ages two and seven.
The report and its details challenged the Department of Defense’s initial narrative before it was amended Friday to conform with the truth: That the U.S. military, with President Joe Biden as commander in chief, had killed innocent civilians, including children.
Initially, the military said on August 29th, that “military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamad Karzai International airport. We are confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.”
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Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly called the action a “righteous strike.”
Despite the Pentagon’s claims of confidence, the Department of Defense was not transparent about the strike, refusing to provide names or details of the ISIS target they then claimed to have killed. Only vague statements were provided.
Subsequent statements acknowledged the possibility of civilian deaths, stating that the incident was under investigation until the Times’ report came out, revealing that the only thing the military did eliminate that day, under the Biden administration’s oversight, was an innocent family.
The Times’ revelations led to demands for accountability, most notably from Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who used used a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing last week to slam Biden Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the Biden administration’s negligence in the drone strike.
On Friday, the Biden administration finally admitted to killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan.
“We selected this car based on its movement at a known target area of interest to us,” McKenzie said, according to Deutsche Welle.
“Clearly our intelligence was wrong on this particular white Toyota.”
Members of the bereaved family told news media, according to Deutsche Welle that they want a face-to-face apology after Gen. McKenzie and Defense Secretary Lloyd both reportedly apologized for the incident.
McKenzie reportedly said the government is looking at ways through which they can make reparation payments to the family.
“[Emal] Ahmadi’s 22-year-old nephew, Farshad Haidari, meanwhile told the AFP news agency the family had received evacuation papers and had hoped to go to the United States soon,” the Deutsche Welle report stated.