Declassified video shows US drone strike on civilians — Analysis
Pentagon released surveillance footage showing an American air strike in Afghanistan that claimed 10 lives last year. This was one of America’s final combat operations in Afghanistan after its two-decade long war.
The New York Times published the 25-minute declassified video on Wednesday. It shows how an Afghan aid worker was killed along with nine other noncombatants including seven children.
While the military initially claimed the strike targeted members of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) who were transporting explosives – with one senior official deeming the operation “righteous” – it was later forced to backtrack and acknowledge that only civilians were killed in the attack.
Before the strike began, MQ-9 Reaper drones tracked a white Toyota Corolla being driven by Zemari Ahmedi, an aid worker at the US-based Nutrition and Education International. After following him for some time, Ahmadi’s car was struck as he pulled into the driveway of his home, seen around eight minutes into the footage. Ahmadi was instantly killed along with several of his children.
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The Air Force conducted an investigation and concluded the operation was in compliance with all laws. They recommended that no discipline be taken. Although surveillance footage did show at most one child in the vicinity of the strike site just two minutes prior to its launch, the Pentagon stated that it would be difficult for anyone else to see this information in real time.
“[In]Two independent reviews I did revealed that the child’s physical evidence was evident at two minutes. But it is 100 percent not obvious; you have to be looking for it,”Following the November inquiry, Air Force Inspector General Sami Said said to reporters that the massacre occurred. “mistake”It is not an act of “negligence.”
In a long Freedom of Information Act case, the Times obtained the footage. This suit was the longest in its history and was the first to reveal evidence that drone strikes may have not killed IS terrorists. Pentagon tried to also blame the innocent loss of life for this. “secondary explosion” near Ahmadi’s home – suggesting he was indeed carrying a bomb in his car – but later said the fireball was likely caused by a propane tank, effectively abandoning any notion that he was a militant.
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