Last Missile Fired by U.S. Military in Afghanistan Killed Only Innocent Family, Not ISIS ‘Facilitator’ as Gen. Milley Claimed

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by Debra Heine

 

The last missile fired by the United States Military in the 20-year war in Afghanistan struck only an innocent Afghan man and his family in Kabul— not ISIS militants, the New York Times reported on Friday.

The blast killed ten members of the extended family of a civilian aid worker, Zemari Ahmadi, and three of his children, Zamir, 20, Faisal, 16, and Farzad, 10; Mr. Ahmadi’s cousin Naser, 30; three of Romal’s children, Arwin, 7, Benyamin, 6, and Hayat, 2; and two 3-year-old girls, Malika and Somaya.

While the Pentagon initially conceded there was some “collateral damage” in the aftermath of the Aug. 29 drone attack,  military leaders called a “righteous strike” that eliminated an imminent threat to troops and civilians at the Kabul airport.

On Aug. 26, an Islamic State suicide bombing outside of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) claimed the lives of 13 U.S. servicemen, and ninety Afghans, as well as injured 140 people, including 18 other American soldiers.

Joe Biden, facing heavy criticism for this administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, vowed to “hunt down” the terrorists and “make them pay.”

“To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this, we will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” he said.

On August 27, the Pentagon claimed that U.S. military forces conducted a drone strike in Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan, killing one ISIS militant, and wounding another. The military has yet to publicize the names of the alleged ISIS “planner” and “facilitator” killed in the attack.

Two days later, the military struck again, this time in Kabul.

“U.S. military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamad Karzai International Airport,” said US CENTCOM spokesman Capt. Bill Urban on August 30. “We are confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said during a subsequent news conference that the military had “very good intelligence” at the time that ISIS-K was “preparing a specific type vehicle at a specific type location.”

Milley insisted: “We monitored that through various means, and all of the engagement criteria being met, we went through the same level of rigor that we’re done for years and we took a strike.”

The general added, “we know there were secondary explosions. Because there were secondary explosions, there’s a reasonable conclusion to be made that there were explosives in that vehicle. The third thing we know from a variety of other means is that at least one of those people that were killed was an ISIS facilitator.”

New York Times investigation looked at video evidence, along with interviews with more than a dozen of the Ahmadi ’s co-workers and family members in Kabul, and found zero evidence that the Biden Regime’s version of events, “including whether explosives were present in the vehicle, whether the driver had a connection to ISIS, and whether there was a second explosion after the missile struck the car,” was true.

Ahmadi, 43, had worked as an electrical engineer for Nutrition and Education International, a California-based aid and lobbying group since 2006.

Military officials said they did not know the identity of the car’s driver when the drone fired, but deemed him suspicious because of how they interpreted his activities that day, saying that he possibly visited an ISIS safe house and, at one point, loaded what they thought could be explosives into the car.

Times reporting has identified the driver as Zemari Ahmadi, a longtime worker for a U.S. aid group. The evidence, including extensive interviews with family members, co-workers and witnesses, suggests that his travels that day actually involved transporting colleagues to and from work. And an analysis of video feeds showed that what the military may have seen was Mr. Ahmadi and a colleague loading canisters of water into his trunk to bring home to his family.

Ahmadi’s colleagues said that what the military interpreted as a series of suspicious moves that day “was simply a normal day at work.”

When Mr. Ahmadi pulled into the courtyard of his home — which officials said was different than the alleged ISIS safe house — the tactical commander made the decision to strike his vehicle, launching a Hellfire missile at around 4:50 p.m.

Although the target was now inside a densely populated residential area, the drone operator quickly scanned and saw only a single adult male greeting the vehicle, and therefore assessed with “reasonable certainty” that no women, children or noncombatants would be killed, U.S. officials said.

But according to his relatives, as Mr. Ahmadi pulled into his courtyard, several of his children and his brothers’ children came out, excited to see him, and sat in the car as he backed it inside. Mr. Ahmadi’s brother Romal was sitting on the ground floor with his wife when he heard the sound of the gate opening, and Mr. Ahmadi’s car entering. His adult cousin Naser had gone to fetch water for his ablutions, and greeted him.

The car’s engine was still running when there was a sudden blast, and the room was sprayed with shattered glass from the window, Romal recalled. He staggered to his feet. “Where are the children?” he asked his wife.

“They’re outside,” she replied.

Romal ran out into the courtyard; he saw that his nephew Faysal, 16, had fallen from the exterior staircase, his torso and head grievously wounded by shrapnel. “He wasn’t breathing.”
Amid the smoke and fire, he saw another dead nephew, before neighbors arrived and pulled him away, he said.

Neighbors and an Afghan health official confirmed that bodies of children were removed from the site. They said the blast had shredded most of the victims; fragments of human remains were seen inside and around the compound the next day by a reporter, including blood and flesh splattered on interior walls and ceilings. Mr. Ahmadi’s relatives provided photographs of several badly burned bodies belonging to children.

Weeping, Ahmadi’s brother told a CNN reporter that they were “an ordinary family.”

“We are not ISIS or Daesh and this was a family home — where my brothers lived with their families,” he cried.

A colleague, who has a U.S. resettlement case, told the Times: “We have nothing to do with terrorism or ISIS,” a colleague, who has a U.S. resettlement case, said. “We love America. We want to go there.”

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Debra Heine reports for American Greatness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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