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Ten civilians killed in Kabul: No penalties for US soldiers after drone attack

Ten civilians killed in Kabul
No penalties for US soldiers after drone attack

In the midst of the tense evacuation mission at Kabul airport, several people – including seven children – died in a US drone attack on August 29. According to the Pentagon, the soldiers responsible will not be punished. “It was not the result of wrongdoing,” they say.

Those responsible for a US drone attack in the Afghan capital Kabul at the end of August, which killed ten civilians, will not be punished. According to his spokesman, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved a report by the army command on the attack, in which no disciplinary measures against the soldiers responsible are recommended. “What we saw was a breakdown in process, execution and procedures,” spokesman John Kirby told journalists. “It was not the result of negligence, it was not the result of misconduct, it was not the result of poor leadership.”

The US drone attack on a car in Kabul on August 29 killed ten people, including seven children. According to official information, the US armed forces feared that the jihadist militia Islamic State (IS) was planning an explosive attack on Kabul airport with the vehicle – a few days after a fatal attack in the midst of the chaotic evacuation mission after the radical Islamic Taliban came to power. In mid-September, the US armed forces then had to admit that they had not killed IS supporters, but civilians.

The chief of the central command of the US armed forces, General Kenneth McKenzie, spoke of a “tragic mistake”. In early November, the Inspector General of the US Air Force concluded that the drone attack had not violated martial law. Rather, “execution errors” combined with communication problems led to the “unfortunate” deaths of civilians. General McKenzie and the Chief of Special Operations Command, General Richard Clarke, then made a number of recommendations on future drone attacks based on the Inspector General’s report. However, they did not recommend any punitive measures against those responsible for the August 29 attack.

Three days before the drone attack, an IS suicide bomber had killed 13 US soldiers and at least 170 Afghans in the middle of the ongoing evacuation mission at Kabul airport. The US armed forces and intelligence services feared further attacks before the end of the US troop withdrawal at the end of August. The Taliban overran the country in the midst of the international troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and seized power again with their invasion of Kabul in mid-August.

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