DoD Inspector General opens investigation into Kabul drone strike that killed 10 civilians
WASHINGTON – The Inspector General of the Department of Defense has opened a new investigation into the U.S. drone strike in Kabul last month that killed 10 civilians, including seven children, defense officials said on Friday.
The review, which is separate from the current Air Force one ordered last week by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, will determine whether the strike “was conducted in accordance with DOD policies and procedures,” according to the announcement. . “Specifically, we will be looking at the pre-strike targeting process, damage assessment and civilian casualty review and reporting process, and post-strike reporting.
The August 29 strike was the last known U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan before the last U.S. troops left Kabul just before midnight on August 31. were killed in an ISIS attack three days earlier as they helped evacuate the Americans and their allies from the country after the Taliban took control on August 15.
Military leaders had previously claimed that the strike killed an Islamic State fighter, but an investigation last week by the U.S. Central Command found that civilians were the only victims of the attack.
The latest assessment will be conducted with CENTCOM and the US Special Operations Command, but “other organizations and locations” could be approached to join as the investigation unfolds, according to the announcement.
Last week, the naval general, commanding CENTCOM, called the Reaper drone attack a “tragic mistake”.
“I sincerely apologize. As Commander of the Fighters, I am fully responsible for this strike in this tragic outcome,” McKenzie said.
The first review of the strike was announced on Monday, when Pentagon chief spokesman John Kirby said Austin had ordered a review of the CENTCOM investigation that determined the strike killed civilians. Air Force Inspector General Sami Said is leading this review.
Said’s investigation “will examine to what extent policies, procedures or targeting mechanisms may need to be changed in the future, if any” and “what levels of accountability may be appropriate,” Kirby said.
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