Army cannot find refuge from ISIS that unleashed drone strike in Kabul
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III endorsed General Said’s findings and recommendations, Pentagon chief spokesman John F. Kirby said last week and left the four-star generals to head the Army central and special operations commands decide, probably in the coming weeks, whether anyone should be punished or reprimanded for the strike.
Describing his investigation, General Said said last week that surveillance videos showed at least one child in the area about two minutes before the military launched the drone strike. But the general also said it would have been easy to miss real-time footage.
In the interview that followed, General Said provided further details, claiming that nine seconds before military operators fired the missile, surveillance video showed the presence of four adults and two children – the largest number of people captured on video before the strike. According to General Said, this group of people – in addition to Mr. Ahmadi and his cousin, whom analysts clearly saw before going on strike – would also have been easy to miss.
Separately, three US officials said on Monday that the CIA alerted the military to the presence of a child at the strike site on August 29, but military officials said the warning came too late – after launching the missile.
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General Said and other senior military officials, including General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., head of central command, sought to put the drone strike in context at the time, with US officials on heightened alert. after a suicide bombing at Kabul airport three days earlier had killed around 170 civilians and 13 US soldiers.
The army’s first mistake was to misidentify a family home as an Islamic State safe house. “In the 48 hours leading up to the strike, sensitive intelligence indicated that the complex at point 1 on the map was being used by ISIS-K planners, used to facilitate future attacks,” the general said. McKenzie to reporters during his September 17 briefing. , referring to a subsidiary of the Islamic State.
Another recurring aspect of intelligence, General McKenzie said, was that ISIS would use a white Toyota Corolla as a key part of the next attack on US troops at the airport.