In a statement, the Pentagon said it would make condolence payments to the families of the 10 Afghan civilians killed during a drone strike on Aug. 29 aimed at killing ISIS-K terrorists, according to Fox News.
The attack was in retaliation to one carried out by the ISIS-K terrorist group a few days earlier in the vicinity of Kabul airport during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghan soil, killing 13 members of the U.S. military and dozens of Afghan civilians.
In the statement released Thursday, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Dr. Colin Kahl said the civilian deaths were a “tragic mistake.”
Kahl explained that both Zemari Ahmadi and the rest of the victims of the U.S. attack were innocent and had no connection to ISIS-K, nor did they present a danger to the United States.
Ahmadi worked for years with Nutrition & Education International (NEI), serving and assisting victims of war, according to its president and founder, Dr. Steven Kwon.
While the Defense Department initially said Ahmadi was linked to ISIS-K, it later retracted its statement, prompted by media questioning the victims’ relationship to the terrorist group.
NEI’s president said the organization was committed to honoring the memory of Mr. Ahmadi and his family members and others who were killed in the strike.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Kwon said in a statement, “Nothing can bring Zemari or these other precious people back, but we appreciate the opportunity to discuss these devastating losses in detail with senior Defense Department officials.”
To which he added, “We hope they will act urgently to get surviving family members and impacted NEI employees to safety and to help them to rebuild their lives.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley lamented, “This is a horrible tragedy of war and it’s heart-wrenching and we are committed to being fully transparent about this incident.”
The Biden administration was widely criticized for how U.S. troops left Afghanistan.
In that framework, former President Donald Trump called on Congress to thoroughly investigate what happened.
Trump made special mention of the 13 soldiers who died in that process and the $85 billion worth of equipment and weaponry left in the hands of the Taliban, calling on Congress to find out what “went wrong,” Newsmax reported Sept. 28.
“Congress should set up a ‘Commission on the Disastrous Withdrawal From Afghanistan,'” he said according to the Save America website. “[It should] figure out what went wrong, why so many of our warriors were killed, and why so much money ($85 billion)—in the form of weapons and military equipment—was left behind for the Taliban to use and to sell to other countries.”
Trump rejected the Biden administration’s initial conclusion that the military withdrawal was a success. This is partly because many U.S. citizens and Afghan allies were left behind despite the risk of Taliban retaliation.
“This is, without question, something that needs to be investigated further,” he said. “[This includes] 13 dead American heroes, billions of dollars of equipment, and hundreds of Americans still left behind in Afghanistan with the Taliban.”